In 2015 122,772 were issue, down 2% on 2014 and more than 10% down on the number of driving licences issued in 2010.
Around a third (33,953) of new licences were issued to 18-year-olds. 56.7% of those passing their driving test last year were between 18 and 20 years old. However, even among this group there is marked fall in the number of 18 year-olds (- 10.3%) and 19-year-olds (- 15%).
"Car is no longer a status symbol"
Werner De Dobbeleer of the Flemish Traffic Studies Foundation told VRT news that the trend among youngsters is not new.
"Since 2010 there has been a fall in a number of countries. An explanation is that young people are staying in the cities for longer after they have graduated. They don’t need a car as much. A bike is practical and public transport is often easier. Young people in rural areas are still inclined to get a driving licence at 18 or 19.”
Economic factors also play a role "Running a car is quite expensive for young people due to the high insurance premium they have to pay. Some youngster don’t want a car out of principle. Cars have lost some of their position as a status symbol. Young people put off buying a car until they really need one, for example for work. Having the latest smartphone is more important to them nowerdays”