13 Big-Name Celebrities Who Don’t Know How To Drive
For better or worse, we live in a car-centric country in the United States. If you live in areas of the country there are no good trains, buses, subways, bike lanes, hovercrafts, or jetpacks, or you’ve always lived in a place where everything is conveniently nearby—then you’ll
probably need to save up for a few driving lessons and take the test.
If you haven’t managed to pass your test in or after your 20s, you’re not alone. Despite easily being able to buy and maintain a car, these celebrities always opt for the passenger seat when it comes to getting around on four wheels. Some of these celebrities never learned; some had a driving license and then forgot all about driving.
This legendary singer once earned her license, but she hasn’t used it since she turned 21. Of course, when you’re Christina Aguilera, you can do what you want including hiring a private driver—but her reason for not wanting to drive makes sense.
She’s scared of running down paparazzi in the street. Not just because she might be mad at them—although that’s understandable—but because they can get so obsessive that they can sometimes run in front of their target’s moving car to get a scoop.
Despite the fact that she has the word “car” in her surname, this top-name singer has yet to pass her driver’s test. Some people are so good at what they do that they have trouble with other activities, and it seems for Mariah, driving is one of those things.
Not to worry, though. At this point, she’ll never have to worry about having to drive around again. If she doesn’t have her own personal driver at this point, she always has the option of calling up an Uber. Why go to all the effort of driving yourself when you can just chill, anyway?
Although she moved to Hollywood at the turn of the century—a place where, if you don’t own a car or have lots of money, you’re out of luck—Kate Beckinsale never passed her driving test. Luckily, Kate Beckinsale rose to fame and made lots of money, negating the need to learn how to drive or own a car.
Beckinsale grew up in the UK, where learning to drive can take up to a year and will set you back around $1,600. That’s probably nothing to her now, and as she gained her US citizenship in 2011, she could give the American test a try—it’s much easier!
According to the British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran, he “just never got around to it.” To be fair to Ed, England is a smaller country, and it has some decent transportation linking one place to the next, so we can see how that might happen.
Now that he’s rich and famous, he probably pays someone to take care of all that driving stuff. In any case, if you ever see him arrive early, you might say that Ed didn’t drive here; he (Shee)ran. Ehem. Moving on.
With nine Emmy Awards, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globes, this highly talented comedian, actor, writer, and producer may be on top of her game in many ways, but she’s no pro at driving. Nor is she a driver at all.
She did, in fact, learn to drive and had a license at one point, but she hasn’t seen fit to renew it—probably because she was so busy coming up with award-winning shows and productions, and because why would you bother driving yourself when you can relax in the back of a car?
The fact that Albert Einstein was not a driver should tell you that the ability to drive doesn’t have much in common with intelligence—although that much should be evident to anyone who ever took a cursory look at the behavior of most drivers on the road these days.
The German scientist, often cited as one of the smartest people ever to live, simply got around on his bicycle. Of course, Germany, just like most places in the world, has great public transportation—especially in the cities—so a lot of people don’t feel pressured into getting a license or a car.
What is it with these Brits? It’s probably the fact that they aren’t as car-crazy as we are in the
States. This 90s Britpop superstar never bothered to take his test. Instead, he takes taxis
where he needs to go.
Then again, Britain is such a tiny country you could probably hike from London to Glasgow in about half an hour. Robbie might be happy hopping from taxi to taxi, but we’d miss the freedom of forgetting where we parked, filling out insurance, or standing in line at the DMV too much.
Unlike many of his celebrity peers, Vincent Kartheiser prefers a life of simplicity over extravagance. He also opts not to drive to reduce pollution, instead taking public transportation. Considering he’s a resident of LA, that must be tough!
We commend him on his efforts to reduce the amount of pollution in the world, even if he is just one individual. The Mad Men star also said driving is stressful for him, which we can understand. Still, it helps to have plenty of taxi money sloshing around.
While some tried and failed, never saw the need, or chose not to for environmental reasons, Lina Dunham has explicitly stated that she’s just outright terrified of driving. “Some people aren’t meant to be mothers; some people aren’t meant to drive,” she said.
Considering she mostly lives in New York City, it might not be such a big deal. The city offers
decent transportation, so getting around isn’t that difficult. Knowing your limits is always a
good thing, and one less anxious driver on the roads sounds good to us.
You can Blame It On Cain, but Declan Patrick MacManus, AKA Elvis Costello, never saw fit to take a driving test. Being too busy perfecting his musical talents might explain it. Some people just don’t like motoring that much. He’s another Brit, too, so he probably felt less obligated to learn.
While he didn’t learn to operate a stick shift, he did learn how to write and perform sweet music. If sacrificing the ability to drive is what it takes to put out some of the finest music ever made, we can’t judge.
Funny man Ricky Gervais has a personal driver, and he seems to show no sign of wanting to learn for himself, but how did he get by before he hit the big time?Apparently, trains and buses are held in higher esteem than in the States.
The observant among you might have noticed that about half the celebrities on this list are international stars. Since US cities were built with cars in mind, it’s more difficult to connect one part of the sprawl to another, unlike other western places like Europe, Australia, or Canada.
We like to think that Noel would agree with us that considering his tendency to forget his own songs on stage, it’s probably better to let other people do the driving. Even though he may not be able to drive, the Oasis frontman owned five cars at some point in his life.
Maybe he thought they would be cool to have sitting in his garage, but it’s possible he liked being driven around in them, too. In any case, you probably won’t end up seeing this guy behind the wheel any time soon.
Barbara Streisand is considered one of America’s most beloved divas—not drivers. She
learned to drive at some point in her life, but since the 80s, her interest in cars simply faded away, as did her knowledge of how to operate a car, apparently.
Being the first woman to star in, direct, produce, and write a big-budget movie, she probably had a lot of things on her plate. She may have forgotten how to drive, but she never lost her artistic drive, that’s for sure.