I grew up the eldest of 4 on a farm in western NSW Australia. My father says that we alternated between being poor and very poor.
I started "driving lessons" when I was about 8 years old on an old Commer truck. I had to stand on the floor between the steering wheel and seat to get the clutch down far enough to change gear.
When I was about 10 a cousin arrived with a Standard which he cut the top off and used to spotlight kangaroos and wild pigs. He lived in Sydney so left the car on the farm - I would play taxi around the paddocks – one sister and my brother would be the passengers. I got to leave them miles from home with the promise of coming back later to pick them up (younger siblings are so trusting!!).
I don't think my youngest sister played this game. My mother probably thought I would not be able to see her over the bonnet and so run over her.
In those days we got our official Learner's plates when we were 16 years and 9 months. When we turned 17 we could get our P plates (provisional licence).
I went for my licence in a Ford Falcon Ute – a huge policeman sitting close beside me on the bench seat as I manipulated the 3-on-the wheel gears trying not to dig my elbows into him!
By then I was also driving a semi-trailer – though not legally. A Diamond-T which seemed to have 20 gears! The truck belonged to a share farmer who insisted that I learn to reverse the truck with a box trailer on the back of the truck trailer!!! (that is really, really difficult to do!). While my father harvested the crop I would drive the truck full of grain to the silo at the railway siding – this required driving on a public road – no one seemed to worry that I didn't have a licence.
One day I walked into the police station and asked if I had to bring a truck in to do my driving test. He laughed and told me to just fill in the form.
When I got my bike licence I took my brother's Kawasaki 900 in to town. The policeman came out and told me to ride down around the park and school and "if you make it back you get the license". Then he turned around and went back inside!
Things were so easy in a small country town!!
When I left home to go to university in Sydney, my parents moved. Actually I think they were basically packing the car when they thought to let me know! :-) My father got a small inheritance when his mother died (the advantage of being an only child is that you get all of whatever there is) and he bought a nice half cabin cruiser boat and a speed boat – hence my boat licence.
I've had a hell of a lot of enjoyment driving with and without licences!