Around three million women will be driving in Saudi Arabia by 2020, according to an analysis by PwC.
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As a result, car sales are expected to grow by 9% per annum until 2025 and the market for car leasing is expected to expand 4% annually between 2017 and 2025.
The motor insurance market is expected to grow 9% annually between 2017 and 2020 to reach SAR 30 billion in value.
Women started legally driving on June 24, following last September’s decision to allow women to drive for the first time. PwC’s figure of three million women driving represents around 20% of the country’s adult population of 15 million women.
The addition of so many new drivers will create economic opportunities across the board. And while increased traffic congestion could be an issue, that may even be offset by the reduced number of expatriate personal drivers.
“The number of expatriate drivers in the country today exceeds one million,” Mohammed Al-Khunaizi, a member of the Shoura Council, told Arab News. “The Kingdom will save between SAR 9 billion and SAR 12 billion annually after phasing out foreign drivers.”
He called June 24 the “biggest day in the history of the Kingdom”.
“It will empower women and also change the employment landscape of the country,” Al-Khunaizi added.