• One in five young drivers crash within a year of passing their test and 1,500+ young drivers are killed or seriously injured each year.
  • 72% of AA members think a graduated licence limiting passengers is good idea.
  • Call for a Graduated Driver Licence comes as the AA launches a motoring manifesto with five key pledges.
  • Safer roads, fixing potholes, scrapping smart motorways, helping EV transition, keeping costs down, and career paths for young people in the industry, are all included.

An average of five people per day are killed on UK roads and 82 are seriously injured, but one in five young drivers crash within a year of passing their test and 1,500+ young drivers are killed or seriously injured each year.

The call for a Graduated Driver Licence (GDL) comes as the roadside assistance organisation launches its new motoring manifesto, ahead of the upcoming local and mayoral elections, and a pending General Election, calling on councils and the next government to make five key pledges to improve Britain’s roads.

Research by the AA shows 72% of its members would support with the introduction of a GDL for new drivers, three-quarters (76%) would also back introducing an eye test for the over 70s.

The five-point manifesto also calls for the next government to abolish smart motorways, and for the permanent repair of potholes – which the majority (96%) of drivers surveyed see as their number one transport issue.

The five key points in the AA's motoring manifesto are:

  1. Supporting drivers: keeping motoring costs low through fuel duty freeze, better fuel price transparency and reducing Insurance Premium Tax.
  2. Sustainable future: providing the right incentives, infrastructure, and information to support the switch to zero emission vehicles. For example, helping those without on-street parking by cutting VAT for on-street EV charging.
  3. Smoother journeys: addressing the pothole crisis with ring-fenced funds and use of technology for more permanent repairs. Scrapping the failed experiment of ‘smart’ motorways.
  4. Safer roads: reducing road deaths through setting clear targets, increased roads policing and addressing the tragedy of new driver deaths through graduated licences such as restricting passengers for six months after passing their test.
  5. Strengthening the industry: providing support to the sector to enable greater investment in innovation and skills. Maintain push for regulations to allow access to vehicle data to improve the safety, convenience, running costs and environment via connected car services.

Lucy Straker, campaigns manager at Brake, said: "We welcome the AA's support for GDL and their call on government to safeguard our young and newly qualified drivers, who we know are over-represented in road crash casualty statistics.

"Brake has long been calling for this type of licensing to be introduced. We need a system in place that is designed to safeguard young people as they start to drive independently after passing their driving test.

"AA's research underlines that there is clear public support and appetite for GDL, and for ensuring we prioritise the safety of young drivers on our roads."


Survey sources Down arrow icon to open accordion
  • AA Yonder General Election online survey of 11,963 AA members,11 to 23 January 2024.
  • AA Yonder EV online survey of 1,567 AA members, 6 to 12 October 2023.

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