Obtaining your driver’s license was a passage to become an adult in my town. Failing the driver’s test led to social ridicule. It may be accurate to say almost everyone older than 17 in my hometown could drive.
That is not the case everywhere. My wife did not obtain her license until about 22. I taught her to drive, something I will bring up in a future post. Apparently, she is far from the abnormal. Many people of my generation are skipping out on the joys and stresses of driving for multitudes of reasons. In this issue of real or spiel I will discuss the reasons many younger people are skipping out on their driver’s license and whether this is the end of the driver’s license.
Too Busy To Get A Driver’s License
The number one reason a survey says younger people do not obtain a license is because they are too busy.
Mostly Spiel – Do you know a teen who is too busy to obtain their driver’s license? The few I do know are working for their family, sometimes on a farm, or participating in sports. Either way many of these people could actually use a license to do what they need to do.
There are exceptions though. I have heard of stories where some of the most studious students at my high school never obtained their driver’s license because they were too busy studying and being able to drive around would be “too much of a distraction.” There is no one I know personally whom this happened to, but I would not be surprised if that is a thing.
Owning And Maintaining A Car Is Too Expensive
This is the second reason the survey says younger people are not getting driver’s licenses is because owning and maintaining a car is too expensive.
100% Real – Vehicles are among the most costly thing you will ever spend money on. Auto loans are considered the number one wealth killer. The average insurance can easily cost over $1,000. And maintenance could easily cost a few thousand each year. Furthermore, cars are becoming more expensive than ever before.
One of my old school colleagues bought a truck when we were about 16 back in 2007. He was fine working a job and making the payments for his truck. Then comes December. He no longer was working and had a hard time finding a job. He could not make those payments anymore. This teenager was among the lucky ones during that time as the 2008 Recession happened.
It is tough for a teenager to pay for the insurance and fuel alone during good times. During hard times like right now that is less realistic. When loans are becoming stricter and jobs harder to find the expenses for a car are just too much. Unfortunately, these lessons are still fresh in our minds from 2008 and we will likely have a fresher lesson soon. If driving a car stays this expensive, even for more affordable cars, that may bring about the end of the driver’s license.
You Can Get A Ride From Others
This is the third reason many young people say they do not get driver’s licenses.
Mostly Real – Apparently as soon as you get a driver’s license and a car suddenly people need rides from you. Even people who you do not like. I am talking from personal experience of course. Suddenly you become the less expensive, sometimes free ride-share service.
Even having a little social appeal can give you rides when absolutely necessary. Why would people really want to get a car when there are many teenagers with cars who are driving to the same area? Especially when some just use their cars to stop using the bus or to look cool (they are the same thing).
However, the number of young people who do not obtain a driver’s license because they can get a ride are probably stabilizing. Some young adults still need a license for a system such as this to work.
Many people claim that they will not get a driver’s license because they prefer public transportation.
Unclear – Many younger people are moving to cities. There are many high paying jobs there and there is appeal to younger generations in cities. However, many millennials have left cities due to Covid and other events in 2020. That could be simply because of job loss and the closures of schools. It is unclear where the trend will turn in the future.
Driving is becoming more expensive. It will be harder for the average person to have the privilege to drive. This may not necessarily be the end of the driver’s license, but it is a severe decline to say the least. One of the simplest ways to get around this is to buy used cars as they are not only less expensive, but they do not require as much insurance. But any good used car will still cost a minimum of several thousand dollars. Not exactly reachable considering many do not even have a few hundred put aside for emergencies before the Coronavirus. Not unless you expect banks to be lenient with loaning money when all of this is over.
There are still many ways to reverse this trend where people feel like they cannot afford a car anymore. I will bring this up in a future post.