Why young people are stalling on driving

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto Blog

Young Driver - IAM RoadSmart

New research by IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, gives an insight into why 17 to 24-year-olds have put the brakes on learning to drive.

Of 1,000 young drivers surveyed, cost concerns were number one reason why youngsters have been put off learning to drive.

The price of lessons and the cost of running car were closely followed by the price of taking the driving test itself.

“Our research shows that among young people the cost of learning to drive is a major deterrent to getting that licence which would open up many more job opportunities and increase their personal mobility,” said Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart.

“No doubt, the increase in numbers going into higher education, and the rise of cheap taxi-hailing mobile applications have also fuelled the driving decline.

“Many young people lack the financial confidence to commit to running a car, especially when relatively cheap alternative forms of travel are available.”

Interestingly, the survey also explored which alternatives would make young drivers consider giving up driving a personal car.

Improved public transport was the prevailing sentiment, with 30% of those surveyed stating that free bus travel would make them consider exchanging their keys for a bus pass.

Also, 27% disclosed that cheaper rail fares would persuade them to give up driving their own vehicle, whilst 22% said modern forms of public transport like trams would prompt them to ditch their car.

Which of the following, if any, put you off learning to drive at first?

Costs of the lessons 29%
The cost of running a car once you had passed 29%
The costs of the tests 28%
Fear of driving 26%
Waiting lists on tests 20%
Finding / buying a car for after I had passed 20%
Finding the time 19%
Feeling like you didn’t need a car to get around 14%
Recommendations from family / friends not to drive 11%

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Your chance to become a luxury car test driver

Home / Auto Blog / Your chance to become a luxury car test driver

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto Blog

Leading car rental service SIXT is offering a dream driving experience for a lucky entrant.

If successful, you will fill a very important role within the company – test driving the luxury car range.

You’ll be leaving your old car at home and swapping it out for some of the most luxurious vehicles SIXT has to offer.

The ideal candidate should know their stuff about different car brands and the qualities they offer. Whether that’s offroading abilities or (safe) high speed driving.

They also need to be detail oriented, and be able to spot the key qualities of luxurious driving, appreciating the quality of the interiors and how smoothly the car drives.

If this sounds like something you’d be great at, let SIXT know by filling in this application form.

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Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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Two-thirds of British drivers support the introduction of driving retests for the over 70s

Home / Auto Blog / Two-thirds of British drivers support the introduction of driving retests for the over 70s

Guest Blogger

4 days ago
Auto Blog

More than 60 per cent of UK drivers believe that driving retests for the over 70s should be made mandatory, according to newly released data.

The research, published today by used car buying and finance service Choose My Car, proves the majority of British drivers believe the over 70s should be subject to a test, to ensure safety on our roads.

The stats showed that:

  • 60% of all drivers supported the move
  • In the 18-34 age group, this number rose to over 75%,
  • 42% of over 55s support the move

Interestingly, England, Wales and Scotland showed similar levels of support, but Northern Ireland saw only 9% of respondents strongly supporting a retest, although in total 42% of Northern Irish drivers did think that retests should be mandatory.

Current laws require the over 70s to renew their driving licenses every three years – but fall short of ordering any mandatory medical health checks, such as eye tests or competency levels while driving. All drivers need to do to renew their license is state that they are physically able to drive and their eyesight is sufficient.

DVLA data published in 2017 showed that the number of drivers over 70 had reached 4.5 million for the first time – with a staggering 100,000 over 90s on the road. This figure is only set to increase with the UK’s ageing population and longer life expectancies.

Founder of ChooseMyCar.com Nick Zapolski, said: “Most drivers are of course perfectly capable of driving at 70 and well beyond. However, our research shows that even in a slightly older age bracket, many people are very supportive of retests at 70.

“Being able to drive and having access to a car is something many of us aspire to, and at Choose My Car our whole reason of being is to help people achieve this goal. But it’s also very important to make sure that our roads are as safe as possible, and the results of our research suggest that the overwhelming majority of people – especially in the younger age bracket – believe that more must be done to check older drivers are still competent.”

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Top 10 reasons drivers are embarrassed about their cars

Home / Auto Blog / Top 10 reasons drivers are embarrassed about their cars

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto Blog

Ford-Focus-Mk-2

One in six motorists are self-conscious of their car and almost half feel their motor deserves more care than it’s currently given, according to a new study of 2,000 drivers.

More than a third are simply embarrassed by the mess their car is in, 41 per cent reckon they are “terrible” at washing their motor, while 54 per cent are left red-faced by the scuffs and scrapes they’ve accumulated over the years.

“We’re so reliant on our vehicles yet they don’t always get the care they deserve,” said Dominika Smolinska from car care product company Armor All, which commissioned the study.

“This research has given us a very interesting insight into what makes people feel embarrassed about their cars – however, one thing people are in control of is cleaning their vehicle.”

Top 10 reasons drivers are embarrassed about their cars

  1. It was really old
  2. It was just an ugly car
  3. It had scratches on it
  4. It was rusty
  5. I didn’t like the colour
  6. It was covered in dents
  7. It was too small
  8. It was an ‘embarrassing’ brand of car
  9. It made a strange noise from the engine
  10. It was filthy on the outside

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Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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Top tips for travelling with children

Car seat experts Graco have launched a safety campaign in collaboration with Halfords and Dadsnet, aiming to help parents achieve the ultimate goal – safe and happy car journeys with kids.

According to research conmductred with Graco’s 15,000 Instagram followers, parents prioritise three key factors for journeys – safety, entertainment and cleanliness.

Keeping it clean
82 per cent admit trying to keep the child car seats clean with 83 per cent using a pack of baby wipes for pretty much everything – sticky hands and faces, the car seat, the dashboard, backs of seats and muddy boots!

Keeping it fun
When it comes to entertainment, 62 per cent pack an electronic gadget and 62 per cent call on a good old fashioned sing along to bust boredom. (Graco has set up a Spotify playlist of the tunes their followers said are their family favourites)

Keeping it safe
A huge 98 per cent claim safety is their highest priority, but more than half (56 per cent) admit to always rushing out.

The safety campaign includes advice, informative videos and the most salient safety messages via a memorable H.A.P.P.Y acronym.

Five-step ‘H.A.P.P.Y’ safety checker

H:       Harness & Handlebar
The harness should always be equal / level with the child’s shoulders. One in 10 of Graco’s Instagram followers travel with the harness/headrest too high. For Group 0 /i-Size infant carriers the handlebar must be upright, as it acts as a secondary safety measure in the event of an accident. A third (35 per cent) of Graco’s social media followers admit to travelling with the handle down.

A:      Airbag
Six per cent or Graco’s followers do not deactivate the front passenger seat air bag when travelling with a child rear facing in an infant carrier. It is a legal requirement to deactivate the air bag when rear facing for your child’s safety. You must always check the car vehicle manual and the car seat instruction manual. It’s recommended that children under the age of 12 do not travel in the front passenger seat.

P:       Pinch test (you might know it as the two finger rule)
To ensure the five-point harness is secure, and not too loose, try to pinch the belt strap – if you can pinch it so the fabric bunches in your fingers, the harness is too loose. More than half (60 per cent ) of Graco’s followers do not know about this simple test.

P:       Passenger Side
Always position the youngest passenger behind the passenger seat. In the event of an accident, breakdown or when simply just parking your car, you are safer leaning in to remove the little one from the car while standing on the other side.

Y:       Years, height or weight?
Keep checking your child is in the right seat for their height and weight – the age measure is only a suggested guide. There are two regulations in current use: R44 and R129. R44 regulated seats are grouped based on weight while R129 (i-Size) seats are defined on height.