Number of young people learning to drive falls as expensive lessons and insurance ‘price them off the road’

According to recent figures, only 29% of 17-20 year olds hold a full driving licence – down from 35% 10 years ago.

young people drivingThe increasing costs of learning to drive and running a car have been cited as the biggest reasons why the amount of young people passing the driving test is falling, according to official figures.

Only 29% of 17-20 year olds now hold a full driving licence according to data released by the Department for Transport, compared with 35% 10 years ago.

The research revealed nearly 50% of young people currently not taking lessons say that the cost of learning to drive is one of the factors behind their unwillingness to get on the road.

Other factors raised by young people include the rising cost of insurance and not having the money to buy a car. Less than 20% said they have no interest n driving, which means more than 89% of 17-20 year olds are simply being priced out of learning to drive.

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Steve Gooding, the director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said in response to the data:

“For all the speculation that we are seeing a seismic shift in lifestyle choice by young people, these figures reveal a more basic, economic reality – many are simply being priced off the road.

“Almost 95% of those aged 17 to 20 currently without a licence say they’d get one if they could.

“It’s easy to understand why: Many jobs require people to be able to drive and outside of the big cities independence comes from having a vehicle.

“This is something the Chancellor would do well to remember when he comes back to motoring taxes in the autumn.”

How to save money on driving lessons

If the price of driving lessons is putting you off from learning, then take a look at our quick tips to save money below…

Look out for introductory offers

As always, it pays to shop around and compare prices before choosing your instructor.

Many driving instructors offer cheap introductory rates for the first five or even ten lessons, so taking advantage of these can get you started at a reduced cost.

It is not uncommon for driving instructors to offer deals on websites like Groupon and Wowcher as well – so be sure to check those regularly for good deals in your area.

Book lessons in blocks rather than one at a time

Most driving schools and instructors prefer students to commit to a block of lessons, rather than dealing with everyone on a lesson-by-lesson basis. Subsequently, a lot of them offer reduced rates for students who book their lessons in blocks – with 10 at a time being standard practice.

Block booking can save you up to 25% off the cost of driving lessons, so it is well worth considering.

Learn before you have lessons

The best way to save money on driving lessons is to simply have less driving lessons. While some people take to driving like a duck to water and can pass first time after 15 or 20 lessons, others may need up to 50 lessons. Regardless of how quick a learner you are, if you start practicing before you pay for lessons it is likely you will need to pay for fewer lessons.

The best way to do this is to practice in a friend or family members car – providing they have a full driving licence and you are insured to drive their car. This independent practice can be invaluable when it comes to passing quickly.

For more information visit our learner driver and provisional insurance page.

Cost of running a car for young people

Controversial government tax and policy changes over the past year or so have resulted in car insurance prices for young people sky rocketing.

Data from comparison site Compare The Market reveals that the average new driver under 25 now has to pay £2,379 to run their car in year following passing their driving test – an increase of 3.4% compared with last year.

Car insurance accounts for more than half of that amount, with young drivers now paying an average of £1,354 for insurance – that’s a year-on-year increase of 8%.

Recent government policy changes such as the increase in Insurance Premium Tax and the change to how personal injury compensation payouts are calculated have had what comparethemarket.com describe as “a significant impact on insurance premiums”.

Read more…

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