1970 mini cooper Merran learnt to drive in


Merran Fryer started her driving career in a MINI, and she plans for it to end in one too.

Merran learnt to drive in her mother’s MINI. Driving was difficult for Merran at first, especially hill starts in a manual car.

“I gave up halfway through – I came home, threw my L plates in the bin and said ‘I’m not doing this anymore!’”. But after six months and a mindset shift, she tried again.

“It was when I got back in and I felt like I was controlling the car, that I was able to drive… it was about being confident and being in control.”

And Merran got her licence the first time she attempted her driving test.

In the test, when completing a three-point turn, “I had to fake it a bit, as being so small, the MINI didn’t need three points to turn around! These days, especially with power steering, I still don’t need three points to turn around.”

The MINI Merran drives today was a present for her 60th birthday. “Automatic of course, those manual hill starts still haunt me!”

mini cooper as birthday gift "I sort of tried a few different cars, and then I thought, ‘well, you know, turning 60 is a big deal, maybe I’ll get something a bit more interesting – and my mind went to the MINI’.”

Her love of her MINI has inspired her neighbours, too: “I bought mine and then 10 days later the neighbours across the road came home with one the same colour… they said, ‘oh, we liked yours so much we got one!’”

Merran has kept her previous cars for around 10 years; “so whether I keep this one for another 10 years, or trade up to another MINI – I don’t think I’ll be driving anything else now for the rest of my driving career. I’m totally sold on MINIs.”

“MINI and I both turn 60 around the same time… it’s meant to be.”