Young driver figures retreat to the 70s

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


The percentage of young adults with full driving licences has fallen to 1970s levels according to government figures. 

In the Department for Transport’s National Travel Survey (NTS), the number of 17-20 year olds with full driving licences has continued to fall from a peak in the 1990s to match the level seen in the mid-70s at 29% of that age group. 

The NTS estimated that overall 73% of all adults aged 17+ in England held a full car driving licence in 2014 - an increase from 48% in the mid 1970s, and represented 32m licence holders.

While over the long term licence holding among both men and women has increased, the rate of increase has been much greater for women. The proportion of males holding a licence has been flat since the mid-1990s, where as it has continued to increase, though more slowly, for women, reaching 67% in 2014, compared to 80% of men.

The report said: “The increase in driving licence holding has been greatest among older age groups. The proportion of young adults with a full driving licence has decreased since the 1990s when it was highest for this age group. The proportion of 17-20 year olds with licences is now similar to the level of the mid 1970s.”




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