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Why young people are stalling on driving

Young Driver - IAM RoadSmart

New research by IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, gives an insight into why 17 to 24-year-olds have put the brakes on learning to drive.

Of 1,000 young drivers surveyed, cost concerns were number one reason why youngsters have been put off learning to drive.

The price of lessons and the cost of running car were closely followed by the price of taking the driving test itself.

“Our research shows that among young people the cost of learning to drive is a major deterrent to getting that licence which would open up many more job opportunities and increase their personal mobility,” said Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart.

“No doubt, the increase in numbers going into higher education, and the rise of cheap taxi-hailing mobile applications have also fuelled the driving decline.

“Many young people lack the financial confidence to commit to running a car, especially when relatively cheap alternative forms of travel are available.”

Interestingly, the survey also explored which alternatives would make young drivers consider giving up driving a personal car.

Improved public transport was the prevailing sentiment, with 30% of those surveyed stating that free bus travel would make them consider exchanging their keys for a bus pass.

Also, 27% disclosed that cheaper rail fares would persuade them to give up driving their own vehicle, whilst 22% said modern forms of public transport like trams would prompt them to ditch their car.

Which of the following, if any, put you off learning to drive at first?

Costs of the lessons29%
The cost of running a car once you had passed29%
The costs of the tests28%
Fear of driving26%
Waiting lists on tests20%
Finding / buying a car for after I had passed20%
Finding the time19%
Feeling like you didn’t need a car to get around14%
Recommendations from family / friends not to drive11%

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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