By Jim Taylor, Editor, MACS ACtion Magazine
This one isn’t really on the MACS platter, but it is an interesting follow-up to last week’s post about future drivers. Our blog entry cited a study that showed little more than 1/3 of eligible UK teens held drivers licenses, down significantly from nearly half in the 1990s.
The entry also cited a variety of reasons for the decline, including a general lack of interest in anything automotive. But another interesting bit of data has emerged from the UK, and this one much more down to earth. The simple cost of getting a driving license in UK can be very discouraging. It’s quite possible many teens just can’t afford it.
The England-based Institute of Advanced Motorists recently released a study, or actually a computation, reflecting average costs of getting a 17-year old male driver on the road. They factored in his ownership of a four-year old small economy car.
We’ll report the numbers here in U.S dollar equivalents, but the cost is still staggering for those across the pond. The lad’s total cost (or mum and dad’s) worked out to around a year’s tuition at a good college, and the numbers are way above most of what we see in this country.
Learning the art and science of driving in the United Kingdom through the required lessons will cost $1,755, the IAM said, and taking the actual UK driving test is $156. Assorted license fees, road taxes and vehicle inspections averaged $280 per year.
Insurance for a new driver with his own car required $12,292 in initial premiums. Granted, that’ll reduce significantly if our boy only drives the family car instead of his own, but even without that purchase and the extra insurance, it still works out to a year at a good school.
Maybe waiting a while to get licensed is a good idea anyway; the study did note that insurance costs tend to drop as drivers age.
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