The DVLA is cutting the cost of applying for a driving licence, as part of a widespread attempt to reduce the cost of motoring by the government.
New drivers will be able to apply for a provisional licence for £34 – £16 less than before, when the changes come in from 31 October 2014.
Meanwhile, the cost of renewing your licence online has been reduced from £20 to £14.
Transport Minister Claire Perry said:
“The cost of driving, especially for young drivers, can be significant and we are committed to cutting costs where we can. Thanks to DVLA making large scale savings to their running costs, we have been able to cut the cost of the driving licence which will save drivers and businesses £150 million over the next ten years.”
One million people apply for their first driving licence ever year, with over 77% aged between 17 and 24.
This reduction will save new motorists £82.2 million over 10 years. Meanwhile, 2.1 million of us renew our driving licences every year, meaning a total saving of £61.3 million over a decade.
Businesses will also save money, as the cost of applying for a tachograph card – used by companies to monitor their staff’s driving – is being cut from £38 to £32. All UK goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes must be fitted with a tachograph, as well as many vehicles used for towing.
The cut comes as fuel prices are also going down, meaning driving a car should become more affordable.
Chief secretary to the treasury, Danny Alexander said:
“Giving savings back to the taxpayer is a key element in this government’s drive for a stronger economy and a fairer society. That’s why we’re slashing the cost of getting a driving licence and giving it straight back to young people and businesses, saving £150 million over ten years.”
Critics have pointed out that, while the £16 reduction in driving licence fees for new drivers is welcome, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the cost of insuring a car.
One Twitter user said: “It’s all very good reducing the cost of a provisional licence but when the test’s been passed, cost of car insurance prohibits young people from driving.”
The AA warned last week that the average cost of car insurance was going up, with the average premium across all UK motorists costing £891.