The number of people who applied for a Swiss driving licence dropped by 2% last year, with applications from 18- to 24-year-olds down 3%.
Some 5.8 million people owned a driving licence for cars in 2017, the Federal Roads Officeexternal link said on Tuesday. This 1% increase was due not only to new drivers but also to foreign licences being exchanged for Swiss ones and natural population growth, it explained.
Of these 5.8 million licenced drivers, 46% were women and 54% men. Currently 92% of men over the age of 18 possess a driving licence; the corresponding figure for women is 76%. However, there is variation within age groups:
Currently learner drivers can apply for a provisional licence a month before turning 18 (a proposal to change this to a person’s 17th birthday is being discussed). A first-aid course and a theory test (in some cantons this can be done in English) must also be passed. After passing the drivingexternal link test, new drivers receive a three-year probationary driving licence, during which they have to take two compulsory drivers’ education courses.