Analysis from government figures has revealed that there’s been a sharp rise in the number of middle-aged women taking driving tests, with divorce thought to be one of the main factors.

The number of women aged 50 and over taking driving tests has risen by 31 per cent from four years earlier to 17,464 tests in 2017-2018 . Thirty-three per cent more tests have been passed in that time, too, with 5,350 successful tests compared to 4,033.

One of the reasons why women are taking tests later in life is thought to be because of divorce, says the AA, as typically women may have previously relied upon their partners to do the driving. However, divorce from their partner, can sometimes force them to become more independent.

AA president Edmund King told the Sunday Times: “Some women may not have had a driving licence but, following divorce and perhaps moving out of the family home, they find that they need to drive.”

Another reason why driving tests rates for women have also increased is down to ‘urban flight’ – when people move out of cities and into rural areas. According to the Office for National statistics, 121,000 more people moved out of cities than into them in the year to July 2017, with 558,000 moving into rural areas and 437,000 into urban environments.

With fewer options for public transport, driving is more important than ever in more remote locations.

Ted Welford


January 14, 2019

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