This is what Danique (23) from Dokkum tells RTL Nieuws. You are one of more than 6,000 people who this year obtained the so-called B license code 78, a license for an automatic car. “Before, I had a lot of lessons on a change of car. It went slowly, but in itself well. I made progress.”
everything at once
Until he had to take the highway. “I had to insert, subtract, mirror, direct and change gears. I couldn’t do it all at once.”
Danique had already had at least 40 driving lessons, but made no further progress. “My driving test date was already set and we just couldn’t reschedule due to the long queues. So my instructor suggested I get an automatic driving license.”
A ‘relief’, Danique calls it. “Back then I was taking two lessons a week and it went very fast. I took control of the car and trusted it again. I passed the exam in one go.”
Why didn’t he get his automatic driving license right away? “I think there is some kind of taboo, I always thought it was for older people or people who are not good at it. Less good drivers drive an automatic gearbox, I thought.”
But now he sees it completely differently. “In ten years there will be no more cars with gears, so why complicate things for you?”
More and more popular
CBR data shows that more and more people are opting for an automatic driving license. In 2016, more than 2,000 people took the driving license test, which has now tripled to more than 6,000. In total, more than 145,000 people took a driving test this year.
The CBR also notes that the average age of drivers opting for automatic transmission is slowly decreasing. “This suggests that the target group is shifting towards the ‘more regular’ driver who has an average of around 20 years,” a spokesperson said.
The graph below shows that the percentage of automatic driving tests is increasing every year.
Rate of the first automatic driving tests
Fully booked until November
There is also a significant increase in demand for driving lessons on automatic cars at Rijschool Kennedy in Amsterdam. They have a vending machine between the school cars. “We are fully booked for the next few weeks. If anyone wants to come to classes with an automatic car now, he won’t be able to attend until November,” says driving school owner Christiaan Lange.
Driving school began years ago with driving lessons in an automatic car. “At that time, it was mainly the less talented who got their driving licenses in the car. It was still kind of taboo. They even made fun of you when you drove an automatic.”
The fact that automatic transmissions have been scorned for a long time is partly due to the fact that these cars were less economical and slower than manual transmission cars. In new automatic cars this is no longer the case.
Kennedy driving school sees many international clients. “Many expats from the US and China have an automatic driving license. If they want to get their license here, they also opt for an automatic driving license. Also, a lot of electric cars are sold, so you no longer have to change. More future drivers. for an automatic driving license. “
At the Veronica Traffic School in Utrecht, too, we see more and more students consciously opting for a vending machine. “This has everything to do with the rise of the electric car,” says driving school owner Ernest Alvares. Electric driving has become more and more normal for more and more students, he sees him. “How many parents of our students already have a hybrid or electric car?”
It is expected that many more people will opt for a vending machine in the future. “The prices of driving lessons will continue to rise in the near future due to the price of gasoline. So you will see that more and more driving schools will switch to electric, and therefore automatic.”
According to Alvares, an automatic driving license is often much cheaper. “It takes an average of 10 to 12 driving lessons to learn how to mate and change. If you skip it, you can get your license much faster and therefore cheaper.”