posted 5 years ago

Motorists Want Minimum Driving Age Raised

British Car Auctions New Driver Survey Results

Thirty-five percent of motorists claim that the minimum age for driving a car should be raised, a British Car Auctions survey has revealed. In fact, forty percent believe that youngsters should be excluded until they reach twenty-one. Why? Because a large proportion of those surveyed said that a change would “reduce traffic accidents”. There might be some truth here. As such – according to the Royal Automobile Club – drivers aged from seventeen to twenty-four make-up twenty-five percent of those killed or seriously injured on the road - even though they only account for eight percent of licence holders. There are, of course, several reasons why. Youngsters are inevitably inexperienced and that makes them less able to read the road than their older counterparts. This ensures that some of them cannot consistently anticipate hazards which is a key motoring skill. Furthermore, a high percentage have a “it will never happen to me” attitude which is particularly dangerous when mixed with the temptation to show-off to friends. Finally, youngsters - many of whom are struggling financially with student debt and low paid jobs – tend to be in old cars which lack modern safety features.

Pros/Cons Of Raising The Minimum Age For Driving

Let us consider the pros/cons of raising the age limit. Banning people from the road until (say) twenty-one might give them time to grow out of the “it will never happen to me” attitude. This alone might save lives which would ease the strain on the emergency services. However, even if someone starts driving at forty he/she has to survive the inexperienced stage. Furthermore, as things stand most people who start learning at seventeen can be on the road by eighteen. At this stage they might be married, living independently of their parents and raising children. Denying these individuals access to convenient transport might seriously impede their lives - most seriously in terms of finding employment and coping with everyday tasks such as shopping and taking kids to school. Clearly, that would be unfair to those that drive carefully and to a high standard. It might also irritate family/friends who would have to offer them lifts. But this debate is irrelevant (almost). Why? Because raising the minimum age would make the government unpopular so it is unlikely to try. It might also hurt the economy as less people would buy vehicles and pay for petrol, insurance, road tax, repairs, servicing, and MOTs. Money talks.


It doesn't matter how hard you try it is impossible to "put an old head on young shoulders"... Everyone has to learn and within reason the sooner that learning process begins the sooner a young head begins to grow older. Many of the problems the young (and others) face are created by the way things are organised by the political and industrial masters for whom the "bottom line" is the most important thing. The driving standards of the young cannot and should not be taken in isolation as it is merely one symptom of a much wider problem; another is that of binge drinking! These are just a couple of the many social ills that are representative of large cracks in our society where profit comes first and it is expedient not to teach high standards. It is foolish of society to expect high standards to occur simply by telepathy or osmosis. The behaviour and attitude of the young is a mirror on the behaviour and attitudes of recent past generations. The picture is very wide indeed and the culprits are many; the ending of National Service, the increased numbers of police that hadn't served in the armed forces, ditto with teachers who increasingly had no "worldiness" and therefore also became bad role models, ditto with an increasing amount of parents and politicians alike. The power of the media who provide many bad role models. These are just a couple of those changes made for the sake of expediency that anything from thirty to fifty years later always come back to haunt society. Before better drivers are possible this nation will need better people!

I'm 72 and have been driving(accident free) since I was 16. Big deal I hear you say,well maybe but I mention it to illustrate a point. Just recently I was doing some research into A&E and came across a 20 minute video of road accident victims, graphic,no holds barred, just showing it as it was. I wasn't physically sick but as close as you can get, and I did have a tear or two, imagine, a hard bitten cynical old fart shedding a tear. I cannot remember how I found that video but if there is anyone out there who can, download it and send it to your MP and urge him/her to raise it in the House and start a drive to have it included in every school cirriculum and shown to 15/16 yo. It's a no brainer that very few (if any)could watch it to the end and that whatever they managed to watch would stay with them forever. A picture it is said, is worth a thousand words and perhaps when these kids get behind the wheel having seen the horrific results of bad driving it might, just might, give them pause for thought and thus turn them out to be better responsible motorists.

why do people waste there time talking or debating about subjects that will make no difference to what is. young adults drive that way because they don't care enough about rules or other people. they change when they have serious responsibilities of bills,debt, buying their home and having kids. its called growing up

Would it not be more sensible to adopt the system from the Isle of Man where new drivers have to display an "R" plate similar to the "L" plate for the first year of driving and may not exceed 50mph even if the speed limit is higher.

Increase minimum driving age and lower minimum voting age, something's wrong here!

The biggest factor in driving skill is having had adequate tuition to drive from a qualified instructor while learning.This has to be more important than age alone. Restricting learners and newly qualified drivers in the first year of driving, to lower powered vehicles would also be sensible. To say, a maximum of 70bhp. The size of the engine is irrelevant, the speed and acceleration it is capable of is more of a factor. Insurance rates for young and new drivers should also be easier with some sensible restrictions applied in the first year, after passing the test. applied

Why not bring in repeat tests for any new drivers, no matter at what age they pass the test? A review every year for the first 3 years after the initial test would enable developing bad habits to be picked up and commented on, and if the lesson had not been learned at the next test, the licence could be revoked or put back to "provisional" level.

Dean James comment is the the best and most appropriate. Why not limit the engine size to years experience and also limit the number of passengers from 0 for the first 6 months, then 1, then two.

I think they should do a scheme similar to a bike licence were you can still drive but are limited to car engine size say 18-21 1-1.2 litre , 22-24 1.4-2.0 litre, 25 onwards unlimited this may help young drivers with insurance as well.

I the age is right now. Leave it as it is.

Pass Plus made a huge difference to my son's driving and helped him reduce his insurance premiums when he bought his first car. The advantage of starting to drive on the road at 17 is that most young people live at home. The stable social environment in those critical first months of driving are probably beneficial. 18 year olds living away from home would probably be worse learners. I started driving on private land at 11. I was also a keen cyclist. I'm sure these factors have had a lifelong benefit in keeping me safe in cars. I feel very safe being driven by both my children, who had a similar introduction to driving.

I learnt to drive when i was 17, passed my test and have never ever been involved in an accident. If young drivers are penalised before doing anything wrong .. then the mistakes are going to happen when they turn 21. If they raise the age to 21 for this, maybe they should ban women from driving untill they grow a penis? just a suggestion.

When I left school at 18 after gaining A levels my first job required me to have a car driving licence and it would have been difficult to get to work without a car as the work place was 9 miles from home and I would have had to got 3 busses and would have had a further mile to walk. I am just wondering how many people will be deprived of employment opportunities if the driving age was raised?. I had my first minor accident when I was 39.

I say make all under 25 fit a tracker so you can see if there driving is ok if it is not take there driving licence off them and make them take their test again

I agree to a point with clive, that young/inexperienced drivers should be restricted by engine size/top speed. same as they do for motor cycles/mopeds. it would slow them down and stop them being boy racers.

thats a typical Dad response.How would a parent of a young driver respond to a knock on the door and being told there child as been killed in a rta.only to find out there child was racing.a couple of years getting more experience in advanced driving tuition as a opposed to the death of a young driver dying far out strips the need to put young drivers on the road at an age that is too young.i've been driving over 30 years and remember only too well the close calls i had.wish i had the extra tuition when i was a young driver.more experience and a less eagerness to get on the road is a thought worth considering and in turn younger drivers will hopefully have many years of accident free motoring.its only my opinion

My suggestions are; Do not raise the age but ensure off road training is done before going on the road (similar to motorcycles. Bring in a law that states they must have a minimum of say 20 hours driving on the road with a qualified instructor before applying for the test. Make it compulsory to display a "P" plate for the first year after they have passed their test and also make it compulsory to have at least two hours driving on the motorway with a qualified instructor immediately after passing their test. Limit the engine size for new drivers (again similar to motorcycles)and include at least one hour of driving tuition on a skid pan to give a bit of foresight and warning as to what happens in adverse weather conditions especially ice and snow. These actions I believe would help to reduce accidents, not only in the young but also older drivers who wish to learn to drive.

I think the insurance companies create the statistics to justify their ridiculously hiked up premiums most new human drivers will slip up we all have to learn!

It might be good idear to put it up some young ones after there pass become little boy races and are not responsable behind the wheel i know its not fair for those who are put its a good idear and it cost to much insurance at that age for them some insureance you after to be over 25 to get a good deal so it is better all round to higher it to 21

I don't know who dreamed this one up but clearly they did not think it through. As for statistics I think these would apply to most "new" drivers - as the vast majority of new drivers are 17/18 then the accident rate is bound to be higher - if you moved the age up the demographics would change but I bet he accident rate for new drivers would stay the same. What is needed (whatever their age) is more restriction on what new drivers can do - high powered, souped up cars should be out for the first two years. They could also make things like Pass plus mandatory within a year plus maybe an overall lower speed restriction for the first two years. I am not saying these are necessary but they are more sensible options. I also think that 15-17 year old's should be allowed provisional license with car size restrictions and adult over 25 supervision. The driving test could then be revised to test them as "experienced drivers" with greater emphasis on road behavior and less attention to obscure technicalities (things that most normal drivers dont know and never learn about)

Complete bunkum. If anything the minimum age should be reduced so that learners can start earlier and have a much longer period of road experience whilst supervised. As the dad of two lads recently qualified they will not be able to drive anyway simply because they are unable to get insurance at an affordable price.

Forgot to mention my youngest passed his motorcycle test when he was 17 and ridden through Europe with me twice in the last 2 years doing 4000. Miles on each trip how's that for inexperience it's about time we gave our youngsters some credit I'd like to see some of the older drivers try and get through a current motor cycle test , ps speed dose not kill bad drivers kill speed makes it worse !!!!!!

It's the same old crap young drivers cause all accidents , they would be better off if there was a minimum speed limit only this morning stuck behind a camper van driven by a mature driver doing 35mph on theA470 road followed by 20 cars taking risks to get past mr ignorant , thinking he was the best driver on the road I am 50 and have two sons 19 and 21 both past there tests when they where 17 and both better drivers than most 60 + drivers on the road they can't afford to lose there NCD not all young drivers are bad just a few both my boys have a clean licence , and never had an accident they need there cars to get to and from work in a rural aria how else are they going to get there ? any one traveling on an A road doing less than 40 mph should draw attention from plod , after all should thy be driving If that's the best they can do !!!!!

I am a hgv driver and a motorcycle rider that has driven 1000s of miles in my 30 years of driving and see good and bad drivers of all ages not just kids. we should be taught this at school just like the usa and instead of trying to hike the Age up we should bring it down + i personally i think it would be a good i dear for all drivers to take a scooter test or motorcycle test to see what it is like to ride in different weather conditions. This in my opinion would make for a better driver because it makes you more aware of hazards on the road + aware of the way other drivers are going to react and take action.

Some ridiculous comments here from people who are way past 17! Our young people have a difficult enough time finding jobs etc. Lets not put another obstacle in front of them. Youngsters today are no different than past decades in having accidents etc. I know I had one within 1 month of passing my test in 1978, luckily no one was hurt. 40 years later the same happened to my daughter within a month of passing at 18, again no-one was hurt. She learned from the accident and is now a very good driver who has needed her license to develop her career.

Raising the age is not the answer. However, a qualification for driving which includes a minimum 50 lessons to be taken in a variety of conditions, covering each of the seasons and a minimum 12 hourss motorway driving followed by a 24 month provisional period in which any infringement of the law which results in points on your licence is an automatic 12 month ban and re-test to be taken following completing another minimun driving course. This should be for ALL New drivers irrespective of age.


I Think every young person should pass a motor cycle test they would read the road a lot better.

keep the age it is at now, but start lessons before people leave school at a private laid out driving centre, so when old enough to take to the road with an instructor they have a good idea of vehicle control, also the test could be harder in a way to show a persons responsibility to other road users, and if it can be proved that a young driver has caused an accident by dangerous driving /drink or using a Mobil phone then they should be banned for a longer period of time and made to take a much stiffer test at the end of the ban, they should also be made to visit people in hospital as a result of an accident to witness the horrors of vehicle accidents this might make them a safer driver when they get there licence back.

Everyone needs to look at the bigger picture. Rather than blaming a single age group we need to address several issues. Full medical examinations should be every five years, no exceptions. the elderly should be more closely monitored. Far to many repeat offenders are currently driving. Engine size should be linked to age and experience. Like others have already mentioned, the driving test should far more comprehensive with retests every 10 years or so. If you break the Law you can't drive without a retest. We can dream can't we?

Raising it would put more inexperienced people onto scooters and drivers really want that to happen?

They shouldn't raise the age, they should increase the level so you have to be better to pass, make the driving test harder, BAN quick-learn 'pass in 7 days' programmes and BAN anyone other than a qualified instructor training someone. Also, there should be tougher penalties for those who are young and break road laws. I work near a test centre and last week saw one driver miss the turning and mount the curb before pulling into the test centre. Surely the instructor has a requirement to not put someone forward who is clearly not capable of driving.

Not only should then not raise the age for driving, I think they should lower it to 16 and start compulsory training in schools like the american system.