Drivers licenses consolidate the path of recovery with a growth of 7.8% in 2015
Madrid, January 20, 2016. PONS Seguridad Vial, a leading company in strategic public and private consulting in the field of responsible mobility, has published a study with the objective of analysing the reality of the training sector related to new drivers in our country using the number of licenses and the evolution of the number of road training centres in Spain during the last year as reference.
Thus, according to the report’s data, extracted from the Department of Traffic, the issuance of licenses during 2015 experienced a remarkable growth of 7.8%, which means practically double the rate of growth registered in 2014 where they initiated the trend change in the issuance of driving licenses with a year-on-year increase of 4.2%. On the other hand, the opening of new driving schools and divisions – offices under the same commercial school – continued the upward trend and closed 2015 with 6,098 new road training centres, 1.6% more than in 2014 and 9,206 branches to close out the year with a 0.44% increase.
According to Shara Martín, general manager of PONS Seguridad Vial, the data “reinforce the positive trend started in 2014 and make us optimistic about the growth of future demand for more road training for driving schools in 2016. Without the effect of the strike tester’s, last year would have been even more positive since up to August, according to our data, the issuance of licenses grew above 15%.”
License types A and B record the highest increases
Taking into account the various types of licenses, in the last 12 months the increase in Type A licenses has stood out in Spain, which allows motorcycles of any power and weight to be driven along public roads, as well as all vehicles authorized by license types AM, A1 and A2. This type of license registered an increase of 42.9% in only twelve months for a total of 31,319. In the cases of licenses A1 and A2, linked to the authorization to drive motorcycles with lower cylinder capacity, the increase is lower but above average, specifically 12.7% year-to-year.
On the other hand, the most in demand license by Spanish drivers is Type B for passenger cars, grew by more than 18,000 issuances closing the year with 465,165 licenses, 4% of that in 2015.
The growth of the Type C and C1 licenses also stands out – which allows driving cars whose maximum authorized mass exceeds 3,500 kg and whose number of seats does not exceed nine – grew significantly last year, with five thousand new issuances and an increase of 15.9% to 36,781 permits, which is above the national average, and as a result of the improvement in economic activity, as reflected in the report.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning the Type E license situation, which allows connecting different types of trailers or connected vehicles, which registered a remarkable growth of 26.7% with 42,279 new licenses issued at the end of 2015.
Catalonia leads the recovery; the Canaries lead growth
In reference to the issuance of licenses by autonomous communities, the report prepared by PONS Seguridad Vial reflects how the recovery is not homogeneous if we analyse the reality of each of the regions of Spain. Compared to the three regions – La Rioja (-4.8%), Navarre (-3%) and Basque Country (-0.3%) – and the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta (-1.1%) and Melilla 0.1%) that registered decreases, all others concluded 2015 with increases although with very different rates of growth between them.
Thus, the situation in Catalonia stands out, with an increase of 12.2% – above average – remaining the second largest autonomous community in Spain with the highest number of new licenses issued: 113,918, a figure surpassed only by Andalusia, where a total of 131,431 licenses were issued – 2.8% more -, which means a lower growth rate than the general average. The Autonomous Community of Valencia is in third place, which concluded the year with 85,249 after growing by 9.4%, surpassing the Community of Madrid by only 82 licenses, which was fourth in the ranking with a total of 85,167 permits in 2015 (7.9 %).
The special situation in the Canary Islands was particularly noteworthy, which recorded the highest percentage increase at the national level after increasing 28.4% in the issuance of new driving licenses, with 42,235 more licenses. The Balearic Islands also grew well above the average, with about three thousand more licenses and a 13.8 percent increase, while the Murcia Region recorded a 15.8% increase in new licenses, double the average in Spain for a total of 27,777, which is almost four thousand new issuances in the last 12 months.
The road training centres maintain the upward trend
According to the report published by PONS Seguridad Vial, during the past year our country recorded the opening of 96 driving schools, to which would have to be added another 40 new departments of the same commercial school (branches).
In the case of the new driving schools, the rise represents a slight increase of 1.6% year-to-year until closing with a total of 6,098 and a meagre 0.44% increase in the departments, for a total of 9,206. However, despite the crisis that began in 2008, the number of new driving schools has grown steadily over the last seven years with 951 new centres, which is 18.5% more than the 5,174 recorded in that year.
For Shara Martín, general manager of PONS Seguridad Vial, last year’s data shows a slowdown in growth, “something positive for the sector, as it seems that supply is adjusting to demand, which will mean greater guarantees of business survival for the driving schools that offer better quality training.”
When ranking by Autonomous Communities, the regions with an above average growth were La Rioja, which despite being one of the regions with decreases in the number of licenses, driving schools grew by 4.4%. Second is Cantabria, with a growth of 4.3% followed by the Balearic Islands with 4%. The only regions that recorded decreases in the number of driving schools were Basque Country, where they fell by 1.9% (four less centres), and the Autonomous City of Melilla, where a driving school was recorded closed last year.
In absolute terms, Andalusia (1,473), Catalonia (851), Valencian Community (705) and The Community of Madrid (571) are the regions with the largest number of driving schools, representing 60% of the total number of road training centres in Spain in 2015.