A new survey by IAM RoadSmart suggests the green agenda is ‘radically influencing’ the attitudes of young drivers.
The ban of new petrol and diesel vehicle sales from 2030 – and the absence of manual gearboxes in electric vehicles – prompted 61% of the 1,000 17-24 year-olds surveyed to say they plan to apply for an automatic-only driving licence.
Meanwhile, 81% of respondents stated they were ‘likely’ to purchase an electric vehicle as their next car – with only a very small number (5%) declaring they were ‘very unlikely’ to do so.
Nearly three-quarters (70%) believe that charging an electric vehicle is simpler than filling a traditional fuel tank, citing similarities to charging a smartphone or tablet, as well as safety concerns.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “Our research highlights how young people are being proactive, not reactive to climate issues and the changes to the automotive industry set to come by 2030, which is great to see.
“What these figures demonstrate is that the traditional split between manual and automatic driving licences is becoming less and less relevant to modern motoring.
“It’s time that this artificial distinction was ditched as part of an overall review of learning to drive that prioritises experience in all traffic conditions over the type of gearbox you have.
“Until things change however, young people need to be aware that manual driving licences will always open up a wider range of job opportunities for them, particularly as the country recovers from the pandemic.”