News KeyEnterprise Rent-A-Car, a company which provides replacement vehicles and courtesy cars in Ireland, has released the results of survey on students’ perceptions of driving. 1, 500 students in second and third-level education, along with recent graduates, took part in the survey. It claims that 86% of respondents believe driving to be an important skill which boosts employability.

It is further claimed that 52% of those surveyed had already applied for a job which required a full driving licence, while 42% believed that their inability to drive had hindered their employment prospects in the past. Leslee O’Loughlin, Group Human Resources Manager at Enterprise Rent-a-Cars, said that to an employer, a candidate’s “ability to drive can demonstrate their willingness to learn new skills and their motivation and dedication to succeed.”

Enterprise Rent-A-Car reports that students are now learning to drive at a younger age in comparisons to those who finished up in college before 2010. 53% of those currently in third-level education had learnt to drive at the age of 17, while 31% had taken their driving test at 18.

The survey revealed that the cost of driving was one the main reasons why students have not obtained their driving licence. Evidence of the increasing cost of driving is apparent in UCD. Students who drive to college this year now also have an additional expense in the form of paid parking, which was rolled out by university authorities for the start of the academic year. Those who wish to avail of parking facilities in UCD now need to register and pay €50 for a parking permit for the year.

O’Loughlin commented that it is “important for students to understand the value driving has as a skill and how much emphasis is put on this skill in the career they wish to pursue. By not being able to drive many candidates are ruling themselves out of a number of positions before the application process has even begun.”

Words by Cian Carton, News Editor