Transport: Is this the death of the driving test

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New research has unveiled that 13 per cent of people know someone who is driving on roads without a driving licence, identifying a menace on today’s roads – the driver that hasn’t taken their test and has no intention of doing so.

There has been a dramatic fall in the number of people learning to drive in a short time period as a result of huge rises in the cost of motoring.

According to figures from the Department for Transport, between April and August this year, fewer than 640,000 driving tests were taken in the UK.

This represents a five per cent fall on the same period in 2010, and a huge 15 per cent decrease when compared with the same period the year before when learners sat almost 750,000 tests.

As a result of the increasing cost of motoring, 20 per cent of people say they cannot afford to be on the road or take their driving test, with 21 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 claiming they are most affected by cost.

Research has shown that drivers under the age of 25, and particularly men aged between 17 and 24, are those who are faced with the most dramatic rises in the cost of car insurance.

In the second quarter of 2011, the average cost of a comprehensive policy for a male driver under age 20 broke through the £4,000-a-year level for the first time. This was an increase of almost 25 per cent on the previous year.

Gareth Kloet of Confused.com, which commissioned the research, said: “A new shocking trend is emerging where people no longer bother taking their driving test.

“As the price of car insurance increases, we are seeing that the rate of people taking driving tests is falling. This is worrying as its suggests not only that drivers are going to be tempted to drive uninsured but now they might be tempted to not even take their driving test in the first place.”

“With more than 28.5 million cars on the road, people must drive safely, so they need to take their driving test and ensure their vehicle has adequate car insurance.”