Road Safety News

Young people ‘giving up’ on learning to drive

Tuesday 11th July 2017

New analysis of DVSA data from the last 10 years has suggested that young people are ‘giving up on the idea of learning to drive’.

The analysis, conducted by consumer motoring website, claims that the number of 17-year olds taking the practical driving test annually has fallen by more than 100,000 since 2007/08.

It also suggests that the overall number of young people (17-25 years) in the UK learning to drive is down by 20% over the same period.

In terms of location, the Honest John analysis says that East Sussex has seen the largest average drop in young people taking the driving test since 2007/08, with a fall of 61%. Bristol is second with a decrease of 45%, while Cambridgeshire and the Vale of Glamorgan are joint third at 40%.

Worcestershire completes the top five with a decrease of 39% compared to 2007/08.

Looking at reasons behind the decline, Honest John points to costs. As well as ‘sky high insurance costs’ it says, an average learner is required to pay around £1,500 to get their licence (based on DfT figures showing a typical passer requires 47 hours of professional tuition to get their licence).

Honest John also references DVSA figures which show that while the average pass rate for the driving test has increased since 2007/08 (from 44% to 47%), the overall number of tests conducted has fallen significantly (from 1.8m to 1.5m), with young drivers ‘accounting for the majority of the drop’.




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Irrespective of what the study shows I still believe that the massive increase in insurance cost are prohibiting many young people from driving in their own vehicles registered in their name.
m.worthington Manchester

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

It certainly isn't just cost to explain this trend. Research by the Independent Transport Commission shows that especially for young men, it is no longer 'cool' or practical to drive cars in urban areas And good news for road safety because if they do decide to drive later in life they especially when they start a family they will be more responsible drivers. So yes Hooray!
Kris Beuret, Leicester

Agree (2) | Disagree (2)

Years ago many young drivers drove a third car which was registered and insured in the name of a parent. Insured by them as prime driver when in fact it was use primarily by the young person. This illegal action enabled more young drivers access to vehicles until the insurance companies decided that it couldn't tolerate it any more. Let's face it they would rather charge one and a half grand as opposed to maybe five hundred.

On the good side if there are fewer young drivers on our roads then surely as they represent a large number of incidents, collisions and claims then there should statistically be less carnage out there. Is there?
m.worthington Manchester

Agree (5) | Disagree (2)

In urban areas driving is not an attractive option with good public transport and cycling infrastructure, including transport as a service options like bike hire and Uber. Why learn to drive a car that, assuming you can afford to buy, insure and it, will sit for 96% of the time doing nothing?
Stew, Somerset

Agree (9) | Disagree (3)

Jonathan in Bristol

Agree (6) | Disagree (2)