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Italians Say "Arrivederci" to Driver's License

Italians Say "Arrivederci" to Driver's License

Old Dec 20th, 2012, 10:49 AM
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GAC
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Italians Say "Arrivederci" to Driver's License

According to this report, Italian driver licenses have declined 19% from 2010 to 2011, due to the financial crisis, resulting in a loss of 200,000 license registrations:

http://inchieste.repubblica.it/it/re...%2D47608509%2F

Can we anticipate seeing less congestion on Italian roads?
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Old Dec 21st, 2012, 05:34 PM
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Less congestion? I bet not. More unlicensed and therefore uninsured drivers would be my guess. ;^(
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Old Dec 21st, 2012, 06:51 PM
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This is sort of odd.

Is the license and the registration for the car the same thing?

Are these very expensive?

Our licenses and car registration costs are minimal in the US.
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Old Dec 21st, 2012, 09:11 PM
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In a country of 60 million, around 800,000 people a year die. That probably means 400,000-600,000 driving licence possessors die(the article is about driving licences, not car registrations).

The point of the article is the cost of ACQUIRING (not renewing) an individual licence. So with a huge growth in youth unemployment, and the huge cost of licence acquisition, common sense says there will be a fall - in a country with OK public transport - in the number of new licence holders.

Normally, the number of new acquirors would roughly equal the number of holders dying. But Italy also has a falling population of 18 year olds - and for most of them, having a driving licence is just a lifestyle choice, not the essential prop to survival it is in the US. As in London: keeping your public transport pass fully funded (and paying for your iPhone monthly sub) matter more to young people than the ability to drive a heap of metal that's getting increasingly dinosaur-like.

The two issues of falling youth population, and disproportionate impoverishment of young people, together with promotional pricing by the railways, make a 200,000 net fall in licences credible.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2012, 12:00 AM
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To acquire a license in Italy you must first attend courses at a state-certified driving school, which costs hundreds of euros.

Depending on where you live in the US, and your age, owning and driving a car is not "minimal" when it comes to mandatory insurance and car registration fees. I know young people and elderly in the US who cannot afford auto insurance.

Depending on where you live in Italy, driving is not just a "lifestyle" choice. It will determine a family's future.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2012, 12:58 AM
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The number of young people learning to drive in the Netherlands has also dropped. It is very expensive to take lessons and pass the exams to get a licence (+/- €1500). Cars are expensive here, petrol is ridiculously expensive here (higher than the UK!), insurance for a beginner is also pretty high. Public transport is good, students can use it for free (at least for now), bikes and mopeds are common, and so many young people just aren't learning to drive at this time.

I can imagine that in Italy, which has been harder hit by the crisis that there just isn't the money for young people to learn to drive, or run a car.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2012, 03:56 AM
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It would only make sense that if people's ability to purchase a car lessens, so would their likelihood of going through the hoops and expense of getting a license.

As for having a license is a "lifestlye" choice: Of course, younger people living in any large city are less likely to have a license. Many who do have a license have it only because they moved from somewhere else, where having a license was more of a necessity.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2012, 12:27 PM
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OK - so the difference is:

In the US you can take the driver's test without a single lesson (and IMHO a chimp could pass the driving test - and I believe some drivers are such in disguise). The cost of the permit, license and registration is minimal. Granted a car costs something (but most kids drive family cars at first - then get a 3rd hand clunker that they try to keep on the road with duct tape). The real cost - for younger drivers - is insurance. But for adults with good driving records even this is minimal (mine is only about $150 per month for excellent coverage - collision as well as liability).

If kids have to pay for lessons - that is a huge difference. (And presumably they actually have to learn to drive to pass the test.) And obviously the public transit issue makes a huge difference - many kids don;t have to drive to get to school or work.

But IMHO - it doesn;t look like people are giving up driving - it just seems like the older drivers aging out are ot being replaced by younger ones.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2012, 01:06 PM
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From the two Italian friends we have, I would it is a combination of a change in demographics and the economy. Same is happening in Britain, the driving instructors were, in the news, moaning about the lack of new business from young learners.

The situation will become even more pronounced once the EU sexual equality legislation is put into practice. Insurers can now no longer discriminate their risk profiles based on sex. Young male drivers have always, quite rightly been hammered with huge premiums. Young women have had far lower rates but from next year the insurance companies will be unable to discriminate. In equity, the female rates should rise and the male rates fall, yesterday the companies confirmed they will not pass on the increased female rates and simply retain the profits as their margins are so tight. End result less young drivers.

Situation in Italy is compounded as they are generally taking a more egalitarian approach to fiscal tightening. Our friend in the airforce took a 20% pay cut, the other option would have been to lose 20% of the force. This approach has been replicated in many areas of public spending and industry. In Britain we seem to generally be making staff redundant as opposed to later pay cuts.

It will be interesting to see low slashing the ridiculous mobility scheme in Britain will effect car ownership. We purchased our car as a one year old, low mileage deal, it had been on mobility. It had an original list price of £39,000 which is simply ridiculous. Car registrations will fall once this abused system is closed.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2012, 01:40 PM
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nytraveller - we pay €19 a month, fully comprehensive, any driver.
That is with 18 years no claim, with a company which only accept low risk drivers. Our previous insurance was €34 a month, with a company that would also accept young drivers, those with a DUI, etc.

So all that expense to learn to drive results in much lower insurance. Also you cannot buy a car here without you already have a drivers licence and the insurance in place on it. The systems are linked, along with the road tax database, and the database of qualified drivers.

Cars are very expensive here though, even old cars cost a lot. I blame the British for that, since they thought it was unfair that the basic pre-tax price of a car was lower in other countries in the EU than in the UK. The post-tax price was similar, but now the pre-tax price it the same our taxes are much higher so we pay a lot more for the same car.
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