The number of 17-year olds taking their driving test has fallen by over 100,000 since 2007-8 with the overall number of under-25s learning to drive down by 20 percent. This is according to new research from automotive consumer site ‘HonestJohn.co.uk’
The research also found a difference on regional grounds. East Sussex saw the largest drop (61 percent) followed by the County of Bristol (45 percent). Cambridgeshire and the Vale of Glamorgan were joint third (40 percent) and Worcestershire completes the top five with a 39 percent decrease.
A teenager in a city driving a small hatchback of £8,000 can be quoted up to £13,498 for a comprehensive 12-month insurance policy. Even in a rural area, this can be as high as £8,750. This cost could be one reason some people are delaying learning to drive.
But they face high costs even before buying a car. Average learner drivers can spend as much as £1,529 to get their license and an average of 47 hours of professional lessons are required, according to the Department for Transport, to gain a license.
DVSA records show that while the average pass rate increased since 2007-8 from 44 percent to 47, the number of tests conducted has dropped from 1.8 to 1.5 million with young drivers accounting for most of the drop.
“Put simply, young people are being priced out of learning to drive,” ‘Honest John’s Managing Editor, Daniel Powell, said. “Ten years ago, a typical 17 year old would have booked a driving lesson as soon as they were legally able, but today most young people simply cannot afford to drive.
“Increases in IPT and changes to the way major personal injury claims are calculated have pushed up premiums by an average of eight per cent. But for younger drivers the real world increases are probably much higher.”