Entering the regime of automobility: car ownership and use by novice drivers in Iceland

Virgile Collin-Lange*, Karl Benediktsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This article investigates how young individuals access the regime of automobility. Instead of looking at the systemic nature of automobility, the article concentrates on its human component. Access to cars by young people in the greater Reykjavík area, and the shift in modal choice that occurs when they start driving, was investigated with a survey among high school students that yielded 553 answers. The results show that young residents in the capital area are fully aware of the costs of car-based automobility. Their near-universal move to cars when they enter driving age reflects the conditions of this regime. Yet they are also ambivalent about their position within the regime. While most previous studies of novice drivers have centred on road safety issues, this study shows the need to consider the cultural and social aspects of young people driving. This can lead to a deeper understanding of the modal shift that perpetuates car-based automobility, which is an important issue for transport planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-858
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Other keywords

  • Automobility
  • Iceland
  • Modal choice
  • Novice drivers


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