Fewer young people learn to drive

Thursday 4th August, 2011 at 14:08 COMMENTS (0)

The news headlines today suggest that there has been a decline in the number of young people taking a driving test in recent years, according to Driving Standards Agency figures. 

The number of 17 - 25 year olds taking their driving test has fallen by 19% since 2005/06, dropping by more than 200,000.

Much of the blame has been apportioned to the increased cost of learning to drive and running a vehicle as it's very easy to grab the headlines. 

Whilst it is true to say that some of the costs associated with driving have increased slightly and insurance premiums have raised dramatically for youngsters, the cost of learning has actually reduced or at most maintained similar levels over the same period. 

In fact the number of driving tests taken outside this age group has reduced by a smaller amount with more than 1.6 million still taking the driving test. 

The reasons for the reduction in numbers are not clear and therefore misleading when you consider additional factors that are not attributed to learning to drive solely. 

Official statistics available from the Office of National Statistics suggest that the population for 17 year olds has decreased since 2008 so reducing the numbers of those driving. 

Economic factors in general have contributed to young people having to make decisions about where they spend their money. 

For example, university fees have gone up, so young people are putting off learning to drive until a later date, perhaps beyond the age of 22. 

It therefore might be true to suggest that 17 - 25 year olds are not being put off learning to drive because of the cost of learning but perhaps due to social trends, fashions and economic priorities.


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