Where Have All The Boy Racers Gone?

Tue 1st Jun 2021

New data published by the Department for Transport has revealed that the number of young drivers on UK roads is at its lowest figure since records began.

According to the figures there are now roughly a third of 17 to 20 year olds who have a driving licence, that’s compared to half the people in the same age group in the early 1990s. The analysis reveals that between 1992 and 1994 55 per cent of men aged under 21 had a driving licence, with young women at 42 per cent. Compare that to 2019, where just 34 per cent of men in the 17 to 20 age group have a driving licence, and 35 per cent of women.

The high costs of learning and passing a test were the key reasons putting young drivers off the prospect of taking to the road, with 25 per cent of respondents admitting that economical factors were at the heart of the problem. Other said they were ‘not interested’ (16%) or ‘too busy’ (15%).

Earlier this month it was revealed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency that there had been a sharp decline in the number of young people passing their driving test, down to its lowest level since records began in 2012. The number of 16 to 25 year-olds in Great Britain holding a licence is down to 2.97 million, from 3.32 million in March 2020. Driving tests have been suspended and financial pressures increased due to the pandemic , two major impacts on the figures.

Despite the figures, Steve Gooding of the RAC Foundation believes that young people still have an appetite for driving.

“Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by this fall in the number of full licence holders aged 25 and under in a year when the Covid-19 pandemic increased financial pressures for many, meant driving lessons and driving tests had to be suspended, and resulted in more young people being locked down in their family home,” he said.