Youngsters Put The Brakes On Learning To Drive

Youngsters Put The Brakes On Learning To Drive

by Becky Harrison |
posted 22 October 2021

Passing your driving test was once seen as a rite of passage for most youngsters. But with the number of young people getting behind the wheel now declining, research conducted by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, has indicated why many young people aged 17-24 have put the brakes on learning to drive.

Of 1,000 young drivers surveyed, cost concerns were rated as the biggest reason for why young people had been put off learning to drive at first. Equal top concerns (29%) were the price of lessons and the cost of running car, closely followed in second spot (28%) by the cost of taking the driving test itself. 

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

“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.”

The survey also revealed that fear of driving had put off 26% of respondents from learning to drive, with longer waiting lists for tests only being an issue for 20%. Finding the right car and the time to take lessons were also mentioned by respondents, but only 14% felt they didn’t need a car to get round. One in ten were actually put off by family or friends recommending they shouldn’t learn to drive.

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.



Becky Harrison
Becky Harrison

Becky is part of the marketing team here at Money4yourMotors. Becky oversees a wide range of marketing activities including social media and content creation.