To land a first job, the permit is for 85% of young people as important as having chosen a recruiting sector (87%) or having a recognized diploma (86%), according to a survey carried out in March by Harris interactive for the Montaigne Institute.
Examination which counted 1.1 million candidates in 2020 (more than for the baccalaureate), the driving license is considered essential by 86% of young people, according to the survey of a representative sample of a thousand young people from 18 to 26 years old. Main obstacle perceived by those who do not have it: its cost (on average 1,600 to 1,800 euros), for a third of them.
“The bottleneck of passing the practical test leads to a high price for students who fail and must repeat driving lessons”, and for others who “prefer to maximize the number of driving hours to avoid a possible failure”, according to a study by the Institut Montaigne, “From permit to employment: roll youth” published this week.
“There are not enough slots available for practical exams because not enough inspectors. There are 1,350 nationally but not well enough distributed,” Baptiste Larseneur, author of the study, told AFP. .
– Pass the license in the provinces –
In Ile-de-France and Rhône-Alpes, the imbalance between candidates and examiners creates bottlenecks. “It takes nine weeks on average to pass the practical exam, against three weeks in the rural departments. The additional cost is estimated at 200 euros per month of delay, 480 euros on average”, indicates Mr. Larseneur.
A cost “particularly handicapping for the less qualified, who have lower incomes but jobs which more often require the permit”, he notes.
“I have a lot of candidates who have failed in the Paris region who come to take their driving license here, given that in Paris they have to wait months to be offered a new place for the exam. Here, they are presented very quickly because driving schools have a success rate of 70%”, says David Correua, manager of the Euro-Conduite school in Ezy-sur-Eure (Eure), one hour from Paris.
The success rates are 52% in Paris and 55% in the Rhône, but between 60 and 70% elsewhere in the region, according to figures from Road Safety.
– The automatic gearbox –
Passing the license on automatic gearbox reduces the cost, by 40% according to the Institut Montaigne.
Thirteen hours of driving lessons are required compared to 20 hours for the manual gearbox license.
The winners can then, after a period of three months, transform it into a manual gearbox license with a seven-hour internship, without examination.
It could become in the future the main way to pass the permit. Automatic gearboxes now equip half of the cars sold.
“By combining simulator and automatic transmission, we could achieve a license at 700-800 euros, against 1,600-1,800 euros on average today”, according to Baptiste Larseneur.
At Euro-Conduite, those who switch to an automatic gearbox obtain their license in around 25 hours, ie ten hours less on average than those who switch to a manual gearbox.
“The interest of the automatic gearbox is that the young driver immediately concentrates on what is essential: getting into traffic, being careful… and not on what is happening inside. of the car,” notes David Correua.
To reduce delays, sources of cost, it would be necessary to “create a reserve” of examiners in tense areas such as Ile-de-France and Rhône-Alpes-Auvergne, also recommends the Institut Montaigne. By appealing to other categories of civil servants: road safety personnel, police, gendarmes and soldiers, and agents of administrations such as La Poste. All would be hired on a voluntary basis, trained and sworn.