Young people 'priced off the road' as proportion passing driving test drops


The cost of learning to drive is the biggest reason why the proportion of young people passing the test is falling, official figures show.

Just 29% of people aged 17 to 20 hold a full licence compared with 35% a decade ago, according to Department for Transport (DfT) data for England.

The research revealed that almost half (44%) of those not trying to get on the road say the cost of learning to drive is one of the factors.

This is followed by the cost of insurance (31%) and buying a car (28%), with almost a quarter (24%) saying friends and family can drive them when necessary.

Fewer than one in five (19%) say they are not interested in driving.

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said: "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."