Over 65,000 Irish motorists are on their third provisional licence or higher 3 years ago

Over 65,000 Irish motorists are on their third provisional licence or higher

The report supports the argument that the younger you learn to drive, the better.

More than 65,000 Irish motorists are on their third provisional license, or on a higher provisional licence, a new survey has shown.

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Conducted by online insurance brokers Insuremycars.ie, the survey found that a total of 65,161 motorists were on 3+ learner permits, while more than half of this figure (36,815) had exceeded five, reaching as high as 10 in some cases.

A noticeable factor is age, since drivers in excess of five permits were by-and-large over 30. Only 4,169 were between the ages of 21 and 29, while there were no drivers between the ages of 17 and 20.

Arguing that young Irish drivers on learner permits are most reliable at fulfilling their driving responsibilities, taking lessons and passing tests in a timely manner, this point was indicated by the fact that 87% of drivers between the ages of 17 and 20 were found to have passed on their first permit.

Based on the findings in these figures, the broker is calling on the government to address the issue of learner permit "lifers", who they believe are clogging up the system and costing both themselves and the Irish taxpayer significant sums of money annually.

Commenting on the results, Deirdre of Insuremycars.ie said: "While a few [learner drivers] may be late bloomers when it comes to driving, it’s apparent that many have been on the roads for years, without either taking or passing the driving test.

"Recent reports have highlighted the lengthy delays driving test wait times across the country with some people waiting up to 25 weeks to sit their test. Something needs to be done to address this backlog and we believe that if people were restricted in the number of times they could be granted a learner permit, it would lessen the number of driving test applications as people move from a learner permit to a full licence."

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The brokers have advocated a series of changes to the system to limit the number of learner permits a motorist can carry, or at least, to ensure that learner permit holders are required to actually take, rather than simply apply for, the test before getting another permit.

The changes include testing fees, learner permit fees and a call for fully licenced drivers to pay significantly less for motor insurance.

Insuremycars.ie argue that it is the Government’s responsibility to ensure that these "learner lifers" fully comply with the road regulations for the benefit of themselves and all road users.