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Revhead Ramblings: The number of people taking their driving test is decreasing and I’m ok with that

I couldn’t wait to pass my driving test. I bought my car months before I could legally get behind the wheel, I booked my theory as early as possible and I passed my test early in 2017.

Granted, I’m a bit upset that fewer people share the same desire to get behind the wheel, but in the long run it’s probably for the best. Our roads are already heavily congested, they’re in poor condition and people are relying less on driving to get around.

How Necessary Is It?

We managed to get around before we got our pink card, by foot, bike, bus or train, unless you lived in the wilderness you were never too far from your destination. Now, apps like Uber ensure cheap transport is never more than 10 minutes from you, and ride hailing services from VW and Ford are being tested in the US and Europe as I type this. Public transport in cities when utilised correctly is quicker than driving and easier on the wallet too.

Endless Costs

In my first year of driving I paid just over £3000 for my insurance. A telematics box was supposed to save me money, instead it steadily increased my monthly premiums. While my driving style is partly to blame, the initial cost of £2000 is still a ludicrous sum to pay.

It’s fair to assume that the average 17-year-old is only working a part time job when they pass their test, to expect them to save the money for a car, tax insurance and to fuel it is extremely unfair. When you add in the thought of university, why bother driving for just under two years when you’ll be leaving your car at home for all that time?

Saving Mr Polar Bear

If a young driver can afford to get on the road, it’s often in a small, inefficient hatchback that their parents insist is ‘a good runner’ despite the lacquer peeling off the bumper and only carrying three hub caps. Those who are gifted savers, secure a good job or don a ski mask may opt for an attractive PCP deal instead to ensure they get top bragging rights amongst friends, that means less pollutive cars on our roads, but it also means people will also pay some pricey lessons.

Kerbing your alloys, car park scrapes, and interior stains are all part of the driving experience. Doing these in a shiny new leased car is less a learning curve and more a huge financial burden unfortunately. It’s a shame first car bangers are slowly slipping away, it might save a polar bear or two, but they don’t serve a purpose, a first car is a formative stage of a new driver’s life and shouldn’t be taken for granted!

Current Drivers Needn’t Worry

You might imagine that with insurance companies making less money on new drivers, they might turn their greedy little eyes onto the waves of current motorists. While our premiums are inevitably increasing, keep your no claims discount intact and you’re in a good position going forwards. You may also fear that a rise in driverless technology may see us pushed off the road to make way for an autonomous future. Thankfully that’s in the very distant future.

I’m sure everyone who has their full licence couldn’t be without it now. There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t have to use my car to get somewhere or pick something up. However, I also see why those who live in the urban jungle feel no need to fork out a fortune to get their own car when public transport and Uber are cheaper and more convenient.

To ensure you don’t miss out on any of Alex’s ‘Revhead Ramblings‘ be sure to follow him on Twitter at @AlexClickDealer!

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