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Over 16% of UK job listings now demand a licence, adding pressure amidst soaring motoring costs

By Mathilda Bartholomew | February 21, 2024

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Roles such as plumbers (67%), estate agents (59%), and care workers (34%) had more than a third of job advertisements requiring candidates to possess driving skills

Over 16% of UK job listings now demand a licence, adding pressure amidst soaring motoring costs

New analysis reveals that over 16% of job listings in Britain now mandate applicants to possess a valid driver's license.

The RAC Foundation, which conducted the research, asserts that having a driving licence is now considered a 'crucial qualification' when applying for various roles. This shift in job requirements coincides with the rising costs associated with driving, including escalating fuel prices, insurance premiums, maintenance expenses, and the overall cost of learning to drive.

Out of 1.1 million job vacancies posted on the Adzuna website in October of the previous year, nearly 190,000 positions required applicants to hold a driving licence.

The study indicates that job descriptions either explicitly called for a driver, involved driving as part of the job responsibilities, or, in some instances, required a vehicle for commuting due to a lack of alternative transportation options.

Notably, roles such as plumbers (67%), estate agents (59%), and care workers (34%) had more than a third of job advertisements requiring candidates to possess driving skills. These findings align with the broader trend of the increasing cost of driving, where fuel prices, insurance premiums, and maintenance expenses are on the rise.

Fuel prices in the UK currently stand well above pre-pandemic levels, with petrol averaging 142.9p-a-litre and diesel at 151.3p. Compared to 2019, filling up the fuel tank of an average family car (55 litres) is now £12.10 more expensive for petrol cars and £11.70 pricier for diesel vehicles. Insurance premiums have surged by 25% in the past year, reaching an average of £543, up from £434 in 2022.

Furthermore, vehicle servicing and maintenance costs are anticipated to continue increasing in 2024, with three-quarters of vehicle repairers citing rising costs as a significant challenge. This is exacerbated by the introduction of inner-city emissions zones, such as London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and Birmingham's Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which impose additional costs on drivers of non-compliant vehicles.

The RAC Foundation also highlights the soaring cost of obtaining a driving license, with learning to drive estimated at nearly £2,200, excluding the expenses of owning and operating a vehicle. The analysis indicates that the proportion of job listings requiring driving skills increased from 15.2% in 2016 to 17.4% last year.

Steve Gooding, the director of the RAC Foundation, emphasised, 'Our research shows that a driving licence can be a crucial qualification.

'Little wonder official figures show that about 45 per cent of all driving tests conducted during 2022/23 involved candidates aged 20 or younger.

'Many job ads which list a driving requirement are in relatively poorly-paid sectors, such as the caring profession.

'This is something the Chancellor should have in mind when making decisions that influence the cost of motoring and impact on those who are already struggling to pay for transport they can't do without.'

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