Research from the RAC reveals that just under 1000 children were caught driving a car without a licence in 2014; the youngest was only 11

Almost 1000 children were caught driving without a licence in 2014, new research has revealed.

A Freedom of Information request on behalf of the RAC has revealed that 991 drivers under 17 were caught driving on public roads in 2014 - a rise of 21% on 2012’s statistics.

The youngest driver to be caught was an 11-year-old boy. The youngest girl to be caught was 12. The figures show that the problem of underage driving is a male-dominated one, with 961 boys being convicted, compared with just 30 girls.

Among motorists who do hold full driving licences, men are more than three times more likely to be convicted of driving without insurance than women.

Convictions among men over 65 rose by 23%, from 809 convictions in 2012 to 991 in 2014, with the oldest man convicted being 94.

RAC insurance director Mark Godfrey said: “In trying to discover how many people have been convicted of driving without insurance, we found there is a shocking number of children who are caught driving before they’re even old enough to apply for a provisional licence, let alone have proper instruction.

“Sadly, we may have little choice but to accept there will always be a minority of young males who will be prepared to drive without a licence or insurance.”

Godfrey also notes these figures are only “the tip of the iceberg”, because the insurance industry estimates there could be as many as one million uninsured drivers on the roads.

Our Verdict

Skoda Citigo
The Citigo offers impressive running costs, and can seat four in relative comfort

The Skoda Citigo is the third member of the Volkswagen Up/Seat Mii triumvirate. It shares the Up's decent driving manners and good build quality

Join the debate

Comments
10

30 March 2016

Like many other countries. And give them all tuition at school. Millennials are more mature at 16 than 17 year olds were a hundred years ago when this age limit was set. I should know.....

Aussie Rob - a view from down under

30 March 2016

100 years ago there was very little traffic and cars were not as powerful and fast as today's cars. Even the "mature" teenager's (and up to mid 20:s) of today are often in accidents as they overestimate their driving abilities, as teens of all times have always done. It takes some level of maturity and time to understand and learn today's hectic traffic.

I understand lowering the license age in rural areas with little or no traffic and the need for transport across long distances and often with no public transport.

Dan

30 March 2016

I get that he's not looking where he's going, but what's he driving?

30 March 2016

Looks like a skoda citigo, shocking statistic that kids are driving from such a young age, I get driving in a field but you wouldn't get prosecuted for that so these are on the road, I do agree with reducing the age limit, after all we let them loose on mopeds with barely any training, just a cbt and they don't need to have passed a theory test so have no idea on the rules of the road. Training in school for the highway code and theory test should be mandatory.

30 March 2016
275not599 wrote:

I get that he's not looking where he's going, but what's he driving?

looks like a Lada Kalina

what's life without imagination

31 March 2016
275not599 wrote:

I get that he's not looking where he's going, but what's he driving?

Looks like a Skoda Citigo to me.

30 March 2016

For the older re insurance it is one of two things - pensions so bad they risk not paying because they cant afford it, or just a touch of dementia.
As for the young ones - I see it all the time here in Russia in the rural areaS. aS young as five sitting on dads lap and steering. Cops in rural areas catch more people doing this than they do adults speeding - seriously !!
I must fess up to driving a landy alone at age 9 - in a BIG field. I did this until 12 when I was so good at handling (including with trailer) that the farmer used to let me drive the beaters when gross shooting across the Yorkshire Wolds in conditions which were not exactly simple. On my 18th birthday or was it 17th (dementia lol) I took my driving test and passed first time

what's life without imagination

30 March 2016

PC are too clever - GROUSE shooting not gross - grrrrr bring back the "edit" ability

what's life without imagination

30 March 2016

Pull the other one! I have an almost-16-year old at home and I can assure you that her and her friends are far from mature. There isn't a responsibility they aren't willing to shirk nor someone else to blame for problems of their own doing. In fact my step-daughter hasn't even bothered to study for her learner's permit and the few of her friends that have tried taking the test have failed. They will just as soon sit at home on the Internet than go any where so they reckon that they don't need a car. One hundred years ago you were supporting your family or going to university. Now they are so molly-coddled that they can live at home into their 20s with a minimum wage job and complain that they don't make enough all the while not trying to better themselves. It is as if the efforts one puts in to being a responsible parent go for naught. At 16 I had been working for two years already to save up for a car and insurance. I have a 21-year old at home and at least she is paying for her own stuff including her part of the insurance. If you want the privilege of doing something you must be able to bear the responsibility as well and too few teenagers nowadays want that.

30 March 2016

Just because she is not "yours" doesnt mean you can shirk being close and a real Dad to her. She comes from a broken home of some kind - maybe you are only half of what her real dad was - doesnt matter - not your place to place in public what kind of person she is. Get real and look at yourself in the mirror

what's life without imagination

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run