Fewer young people learning to drive as insurance costs surge
When you think of young drivers, what goes through your mind?
Is it the hoodie wearing, roll-up smoking, loud music loving boy racer who tears around council estates leaving bits of their tyre etched onto the pavement?
Or is it the annoying, nervous, 'it's my first time on a motorway' type of driver?
Well, whichever way you look at them, fewer are learning to drive so, you know, good news.
Apart from the fact that it isn't. Because young drivers are a vital cog in the UK car manufacturing industry and, if fewer youngsters take to the roads, then fewer cars get made and then manufacturing stalls and factories go out of business.
New research shows 80,000 fewer 17-year-olds took their test last year compared with 2008.
The industry has stalled from its peak worth of £5.8billion in 2013 to just £588million last year, when only 1.52million cars were produced — a five-year low.
This is the fault of surging insurance costs. So if you're in this position, make sure you go to A Spokesman Said and save money on your car insurance.
Greg Marsden, chair of the Commission on Travel Demand, said: “Many young people are happy without a car, especially in big cities where public transport is good.”
Another reason stopping them getting behind the wheel is the cost. A city-based teenager with an £8,000 hatchback can be quoted upwards of £4,000 for a year’s insurance. Lessons and a test generally total £1,500.
The Sun spoke to some young non-drivers to find out why they're not getting behind the wheel.
MEGAN HUTCHINSON, 18, who lives in Gosforth, Tyne & Wear, said: “It’s all so expensive. You have to pay for lessons, pay for your test, buy a car, pay for insurance then pay for petrol.
“It’s mainly the insurance, I’d say, that’s too much. You can get the car for a reasonable amount but it’s all the other stuff on top.
“I use Uber if I’m in town on a Saturday. There will be cars that will drive themselves soon anyway.”
STUDENT ED CLOUGH, 19, from Norfolk, said: “I don’t really need to learn how to drive.
“My mum has a car and it would be expensive for me to get insured on.
“She’d have to look at getting a smaller car for me to be put on the cover.
“I would like to learn how to drive but the cost of me doing so would affect us both. The insurance is just too expensive.”
CONNOR ANDERSON, 20, a bakery worker, from Newcastle, said: “Driving is too expensive, especially for young people.
“I would have to look at getting a loan – or a job where I can earn more – to pay for the car and the insurance.
“A lot of my friends have cars and some of them bought on finance.
“People who want to drive are getting into debt without much advice on how to handle it.”
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