Home Business NewsBusiness Number of people with full UK driving licences hits record levels

Number of people with full UK driving licences hits record levels

by LLB Reporter
30th May 23 10:35 am

The number of qualified drivers in the UK has hit record levels, according to data analysed by car leasing comparison website LeaseLoco.

The most up-to-date driving licence data from the DVLA, issued by the Department for Transport,* reveals that 41,570,822 people now hold a full UK driving licence, compared to 41,075,262 a year ago, an increase of almost half a million (495,560).

Reflecting an ageing population, the number of people aged 70 or over holding a full driving licence increased by more than 200,000 (212,432) during this 12-month period, to almost six million.

When drivers reach 70, they have to renew their licence if they want to keep on driving. They are then required to renew their licence every three years after that.

DVLA figures also show that the number of people aged 80 or over with a full driving licence increased by almost 100,000 (94,818) compared to a year ago, and now stands at 1,649,277.

Table: The number of people in the UK aged 70 or over, 80 or over, 90 or over, 100 or over, holding driving licences

Age

Number of UK drivers (2023)

Number of UK drivers (2022)

Number of UK drivers (2012)

70 or over

5,967,076

5,754,644

3,902,135

80 or over

1,649,277

1,554,459

1,059,683

90 or over

137,281

133,369

71,259

100 or over

510

505

162

Young people

THe latest DVLA figures reveal the impact that the cost of living crisis has had on the number of young people (aged 16-25) with full driving licences.

During Covid, the number of young people qualified to drive fell to 2.97 million, the lowest level on record (taking DVLA records dating back to 2012), down from 3.32 million in March 2020, just before Covid struck.

Post Covid, the number of young people with a full driving licence remains below three million. The latest DVLA data shows there are 2,977,624 qualified drivers aged 16 to 25, a small increase of just over 6,000 compared to two years ago.

Financial pressures, due to the higher cost of living, are likely to be behind this stagnant growth,  with many young people reluctant or unable to afford to run a car or pay the cost of driving lessons.

John Wilmot, CEO of LeaseLoco, comments: “The number of qualified drivers on UK roads has reached record levels, showing that travelling by car continues to be the main and most convenient form of transport, particularly for older people.

“Having a car also allows many older people to feel socially connected. That’s especially true in more rural areas, where public transport can be unreliable.

“The low growth amongst younger people is not surprising when you consider the impact that the cost of living crisis is having. The rise in people working from home may also have played a role.

“However, we would expect numbers to rise substantially when costs associated with owning and running a car become more manageable.”

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