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Learning to Drive

Fewer under 25-year-olds are learning to drive according to new research. What’s happened? Why the sudden drop in theory test and practical exam numbers?

Learning to Drive Losing its Appeal among UK Youngsters

New research released by HonestJohn.co.uk claims the number of young people learning to drive has declined over the last 10 years. Why are fewer under 25-year-olds taking to Britain’s roads? It seems that the cost of motoring is beyond the budget of the country’s youngsters…

An analysis of DVSA records from the past 10 years led HonestJohn.co.uk to the conclusion that fewer 17-year-olds are taking the UK practical driving exam and theory test. Numbers have dropped by at least 100,000 since 2007/8, while the total number of young people (17-25) in the country learning to drive has declined by 20 percent.

According to the data collated by Honest John, East Sussex has experienced the sharpest decline in numbers taking the driving test, with a 61 percent drop. Meanwhile, Bristol has experienced a 45 percent decline, with Cambridgeshire and the Vale of Glamorgan seeing a 40 percent slump. Driving test centres across Worcestershire show a 39 percent decline.

Cost of driving puts youngsters off learning to drive

Research into reasons behind the slump in numbers revealed that the cost of driving is a key deterrent. Recent data highlights that a city-based, teenage motorist driving a small hatchback worth £8,000, can expect to pay up to £13,500 for a comprehensive 12-month insurance policy. Those living in rural areas would have to stump up an eye-watering £8,750.

In the first quarter of 2017, the average insurance premium shot up by 8 percent. The sharp rise in costs can be attributed to the Insurance Premium Tax (IPT), a higher volume of whiplash claims and changes in the way compensation is calculated.

The government has raked in an estimated £5.8 billion per year over the last few years because the IPT rate has doubled to 12 percent. Besides insanely high insurance costs,

learning to drive costs an average £1,529, just to get a licence. Driving hours, the cost of the theory test and practical exam are all taken into account.

The Department for Transport estimates that a person passing the driving test will require 47 hours of professional tuition. Meanwhile, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) records indicate that the pass rate has increased since 2007/8, up from 44 to 47 percent.

However, the total number of tests taken has dropped dramatically, down from 1.8 million to 1.5 million. Young drivers account for the majority of the slump.

Youngsters, let’s put these numbers right, now…

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