This is unfair treatment of women drivers however you look at it and nobody, other than FOXY Lady Drivers Club of course, seems prepared to stand up for women’s best interests here.
Reading about the subject I find that young women take an average of 51.9 lessons from qualified driving instructors compared to 36.2 for young men (DfT research 2004).
Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why most young women drivers are safer and more considerate than many young men?
And why it makes little sense to rate young men and young women drivers as the same motor car insurance risk; which is precisely what is due to happen as a result of the forthcoming gender equality ruling in December 2012. Which is deeply unfair to most women drivers because it flies in the face of years of statistics that prove different gender motoring profiles.
To the extent of being sexist and ageist even?
Add to this the perennial debate that young drivers need more lessons such as taking a PassPlus course to gain insurance discounts…
Yet if I had invested in 15 more lessons than my male counterpart before passing my test (at an average £20 per lesson that’s c£300 more I’d have spent), I’d feel I had paid enough already. And if that difference was PassPlus or got me an insurance discount, I’d say that was self evident.
Like it or not driving ability is a gender thing and age is a key consideration too. Young men are naturally more confident drivers (it’s proven to be because of testosterone levels) than many young women hence their seeming to need fewer lessons before passing their test.
But this is but a false dawn because statistics confirm men attract 92 per cent of all driving convictions and 98 per cent of convictions for dangerous driving. So the driving test isn’t preparing them for a safe driving career whereas perhaps more lessons might…
According to the UK Treasury, taking gender out of the car insurance equation will result in a general levelling of premiums, with women under 45 paying an extra £920 million a year with men paying £620 million less. Women under 25 could see their premiums leap by a quarter, while men the same age will save 10 per cent. And there’s an interesting £300 million gap…
The outcome is clear – simply raising insurance prices for women isn’t going to result in fewer accidents – all it will result in is that young women pay for accidents they don’t cause and insurers get richer.
Or put another way – women drivers are being taken to the cleaners.
“What you need is sustained outrage – there’s far too much unthinking respect given to authority” Molly Ivins, American humorist and political commentator 1944 -2007