The MADD crowd has been piling so many restrictions on teenage drivers (no driving after 11PM, and no other teens in the car, and only drive on Tuesdays and Thursdays except during the full moon, must have a man on a bicycle 20 yards out in front waving a red flag at all times, etc.) that most teens have pretty much given up even trying to get a license until after they turn 18.
That and the extremely high insurance costs. And Cash for Clunkers has turned any car that a teenage guy might afford into a boat anchor.
Another tactic by organized labor to drive them out of the labor force I suppose.
Hi Buckeye! My next to youngest just turned 18, he got his license at 16 1/2 (permit here in PA at 16; 50 hours and six months til test). His insurance is a lot more now than when his next oldest brother (now 23 and off our policy) had when he was a teen—rates have gone up significantly. Our youngest will soon turn 15...once against they have changed the Driver’s Ed protocols and I have read it will change again(longer permit time—older minimum age) when he gets license.
Add in the draconian laws HAVE TO CARRY PROOF that other teens in car are siblings (youngest has to keep school Id with him because we know of another large family that had to “present proof” to Magistrate) of older siing driving younger siblings.
Throw in, as you noted, Cash for Clunkers taking away perfectly good older cars...and no wonder why teens dont drive.
“most teens have pretty much given up even trying to get a license until after they turn 18.”
Yep. My son just turned 20 and is not yet licensed. My older daughter was licensed at 17 but she was able to get a summer job back then to pay the expenses on a cheap car. My son has worked hard trying to get a summer job for the last three years and there is just nothing out there in a reasonable enough distance of our home to make car costs worth it. It is very frustrating for my son and his friends who *want* to work. Virtually all fast food jobs in our area, for example, which used to be held by teens are now filled by adults who couldn’t get any other employment.
Under all the new laws, the costs of driver’s ed for mid teens are prohibitive. You have to pay for both behind-the-wheel and online classes, plus the high insurance rates. (It cost us over $100 a month last summer just to insure him while he learned to drive on a permit.) As mentioned here, cash for clunkers also helped remove cheap cars from the market. He’s now away at college where he lives and works on campus and doesn’t need a car. At this rate I’m thinking he may not be a licensed driver until he graduates college and (we pray) has a job.