Traditionally the main market for teaching driving was young men in their teens to early twenties. This age group has always been the main market for driving instructors. Times have changed for this social group. The rising cost of fuel and car insurance has made vehicle ownership a much less attractive proposition for young men. Combined with higher unemployment figures leading to less disposable income in this group the number of people actually learning to drive has dwindled.
Many young men tend to live at home with parents for longer owing to a lack of affordable properties to rent and fewer job opportunities. This means they do not have to travel so much to visit their relatives. Having parents on hand to taxi them around is hardly an incentive to own their own car. Internet services mean that young people can keep in touch with each other without actually having to meet, cutting down on the need to travel. Online gaming also means not having to leave the house. The promotion of cycling as a means of travel as well as improved public transport also negate the need for driving.
Men in the middle age group also drive less. The reduced mileage allowance for company vehicles plays a big part in this. City roads are becoming increasingly more congested making for longer business journeys and a greater amount of lost time. Add to this the stress of modern driving and working from home or on the internet from the office makes a lot more sense than driving to meet clients. This has consequences for fleet driver trainers and those who teach defensive driving in the workplace.
On the other hand women from all age groups are driving more than ever. Mileage driven by women has rocketed over recent years but is still less than that of men.There has been a big increase in the number of female license holders who now see learning to drive as desirable. Changing roles in the workplace have lead to much more work related travel and also a greater amount of disposable income to spend on owning and driving a vehicle. Fear of travelling alone on public transport, especially at night makes car ownership much more attractive.
Women therefore represent an expanding market sector for the driving instructor. Female driver trainers and women only driving schools will find themselves in a much stronger market position for the future.