A couple of quick questions for you. First, which of the following jobs do you think require a driver’s licence?
MI5 Surveillance Officer
Enterprise Rent-A-Car Management Trainee
Got it yet? The correct answer is (drum roll)… all of the above.
Now for the second question. Have you got your driver’s licence yet?
If not, don’t worry. You’re not alone. The Department for Transport’s 2013 National Travel Survey found a sharp drop in the number of young people owning a full driving licence. While in 1995, around 43% of 17 to 20-year-olds held a full driving licence, by 2013 that figure had decreased to just 31%. Among young men, the plunge was even more dramatic (from 51% to 30%).
Nobody knows for sure why more and more young people are putting off learning to drive. But one of the most obvious reasons is cost. Research by the Driving Standards Agency shows that the average person will need at least 47 hours of lessons before they pass their test. With an average lesson costing £24, that comes to an eye-watering £1,128. And that’s before you’ve paid for your theory and practical tests (£23 and £62-£75 respectively).
Given the £1,000+ price tag, it’s no surprise if young people say they can’t afford to get a driver’s licence. But before you decide to follow their lead, ask yourself this: “Can I afford not to get a driver’s licence”?
As we saw above, it could mean missing out on some great career opportunities. And not just the obvious ones like Formula One driver or presenter of Top Gear. Everything from Highland vet to pharmaceutical sales rep (not to mention our very own Graduate Management Trainee role). Even some roles that don’t specifically ask for a driver’s licence can be very difficult to do without one.
If you do decide it’s essential for your future career plans, here are a few ways you can minimise the cost of learning to drive.
Many driving schools will offer you a discount if you book a number of lessons in one go
According to the AA, this can be a more effective way to learn than the traditional one hour, which reduces the total amount of lesson time you need
The quicker the process takes, the cheaper it will be. So really focus on trying to pass your theory and practical tests first time.
A driver’s licence is only one of the things we require from our graduate trainees. Other essential qualities include entrepreneurialism, customer focus and an aptitude for sales. If you think you might have everything we’re looking for, why not check out our graduate opportunities today.