Ryan Casey is among the new breed of young drivers who hold automatic-only licences. Picture: AAP/Richard Gosling
Ryan Casey is among the new breed of young drivers who hold automatic-only licences. Picture: AAP/Richard Gosling

Why Millennials are ditching manual licences

YOUNGER drivers are ditching manual licences in favour of automatics amid a major generational shift on Queensland roads.

The Courier-Mail can reveal only 45 per cent of licences issued last year were manual licences, a U-turn from about a decade ago in 2009 when it over 62 per cent.

Less than two thirds of motorists aged 30 and under actually hold a manual licence - significantly less than the more than 94 per cent of manual licence holders who are over the age of 50.

Transport Department officials say an evolving car market and the prevalence of automatic vehicles on the market have contributed to the major shift in licence type.

RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie. Picture: Richard Gosling
RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie. Picture: Richard Gosling

RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie said this also meant the family car younger drivers were more likely to learn in were automatics.

"Manual cars are less and less frequently sold on the market as a standard product," she said.

"Another reason why we are seeing more automatic licences as well is around congestion and traffic.

"If you've ever driven a manual car, sitting in traffic in a manual car really hurts your calf muscles after a while.

"So it really does come down to ease and convenience."

Ms Ritchie said holding one type of licence did not make the motorist better than those who held another.

"It doesn't make one driver safer than the other," she said. "You just have different skills."

Ryan Casey is among the new breed of young drivers who hold automatic-only licences. Picture: AAP/Richard Gosling
Ryan Casey is among the new breed of young drivers who hold automatic-only licences. Picture: AAP/Richard Gosling

Drivers aged 17 to 25 were more likely to hold an automatic-only licence, with over 37 per cent opting to stay away from manual vehicles.

Over 70s however were more likely to carry a manual licence, with a tiny 3.6 per cent holding an automatic-only licence.

A Transport and Main Roads spokeswoman said the reasons why learner drivers applied for a manual or automatic licence "can vary greatly".

"Regardless of the type of licence issued, the applicant must still demonstrate proficiency in the vehicle," she said.

"This includes an ability to follow the rules and respond to hazards, before being issued with the licence."



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