The Provisional Principle: Why Are Young People Staying Away From Cars?


The stereotype is obvious: young people want their licence as soon as possible. Then, they can pile a car with friends, blast music, and cruise the streets. This used to be the brush with which people tarred drivers between the ages of 18-25. However, stats show that the number of learners is declining each year. It seems young drivers are not interested in taking to the roads now or in the future.

Driven Autos Magazine decided to do some digging to find out why. Below are the results.

Rise Of Autonomous Cars

Back in the day, the idea of a car which drove itself was madness. The closest a regular person came to a driverless vehicle was watching an episode of Knight Rider. But, that was then and this is now. Recently, everyone from Tesla to Google and Facebook has been in the process of developing a prototype. Some are on the scrapheap, but Elon Musk seems to have cracked it with Autopilot 8.1. The technology pretty much turns a car into an independent motor. With self-driving vehicles around the corner, why bother learning how to drive? Why indeed.

Rise In Car Crashes

Of young drivers who are behind the wheel, the number of crashes involving them is increasing. To drill the point home, 17-19-year-olds only make up 1.5% of the total driving population in the UK. But, the crash rate involving the same age range is 9% of all crashes. Firms like CLP Legal deal with accidents all the time and lots of youngsters walk through the door. It is a leap to say safety is putting young drivers off hitting the open road. Young people aren’t scared of anything, but their parents are. There is a theory that parental interference is a factor in young people neither learning nor buying a car.

Rise In Cheap Taxis

Taxis have been and will be around for years. However, they have never been as cheap or accessible as now. Uber leads the way, of course, but companies such as Lyft are not far behind. And, it doesn’t stop there with Grab Taxi in Southeast Asia and Ola in India. The logic is similar to that of driverless cars. With cheap and accessible rides available around the world, learning to drive doesn’t seem necessary. Before, it was the only way to be independent and get away from the parents. Now, it’s easier to jump in a pre-ordered cab.

The Rise In Cost

Although the factors above are notable, none are as significant as the rise in driving costs. Firstly, there is tax and insurance, both of which are legal requirements. Insurance companies looking to cover their back won’t insure a new driver for less than $2,000. And, thanks to the rise of clean energy vehicles, taxation is increasing too. Then, there is the cost of a car to factor in as well as fuel. A year, an average person can spend tens of thousands of dollars, money a young driver doesn’t have.

In the end, the changing face of the industry is causing young drivers to put the car keys down.