The sheer cost of running a car in the UK is often mentioned, but have you ever thought about Brits who are priced out of it completely?
Price comparison website Compare the Market has and by analysing Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) figures it estimates more than one million drivers have been unable to get behind the wheel since passing their driving test.
Not only that, a whopping 4.5-million drivers haven’t driven a car for at least a year, it said, with 37 per cent of 3,002 UK licence holders in an accompanying survey citing the cost of motoring as the main reason for being unable to do so.
25 per cent of ‘parked’ motorists, as they are being called, said they lacked the confidence to get back out onto the road. 12.5 per cent of women admitted they lacked conviction when driving, compared with 4.6 per cent of men.
Female parked motorists were also more likely to avoid driving because of a fear of crashing, at 22 per cent compared with seven per cent of males, even though women are generally safer drivers.
Besides the rising cost of car ownership, 9 per cent said they only passed their test because they felt pressure to do so at a young age, while 20 per cent admitted they were oblivious to the true cost of motoring once they had passed.
The overall number of young people with a driving licence has fallen, too. 50 per cent of men aged 17 to 20 had one back in 1995, compared with 33 per cent in 2015. From a female perspective it was a smaller decrease, with the figure dropping from 36 per cent to 32 per cent.
“Passing the driving test is a big moment in anyone’s life but this research shows that it’s not always the start of a motoring love affair. It can be extremely hard – and expensive – for ‘parked’ drivers to get back behind the wheel,” commented Compare the Market commercial director Simon McCulloch.