Young people are being priced out of learning to drive by the 'astronomical cost' of the process.
That's according to Brenda Bolger of Bolger School of Motoring in Kilkenny.
The cost of a theory test, a mandatory eye test and a learning permit are ramping up costs - even before paying for lessons.
Brenda told Lunchtime Live cars are a necessity for some.
"We live in a very, very rural part of Kilkenny where... there is no public transport - it's a car or a cycle or a walk.
"And we don’t have the weather for the cycling and the walking.
"The astronomical cost of trying to learn how to drive and get on the road and... it's going to get more expensive.
"Once you get your car and you get on the road, you're going to look at about €2,000/2,500 just for your first year's insurance.
"The prices are astronomical for young people."
She said the system is probably too rigid.
"I will say on the outset [that] we need a system - we absolutely have a standard that people need to reach.
"I'm not entirely sure that 12 mandatory lessons, the structure of them is like a one-size fits all model.
"They are designed that for every one lesson you have with an instructor, you have three with a sponsor driver.
"But again... you have to access to another vehicle that you're insured on - or private lands that you can drive on - to get those three extra lessons in".
'It really is a privilege'
Ashling in Galway is going through the process at the moment.
She said: "I did the theory test there two days ago, which I paid €45 for.
"And today I'm getting the eye test, which you need to get the learning permit, which is another €45 today.
"So just in a few days that's - what - €90?
"Then when I actually want to get the learner permit, so I can get my lessons, that's another €35".
Ashling said the driving lessons themselves will probably cost about €700 - but this can vary.
"I think in Galway it's a little bit more expensive because it's a city. I'm from Westmeath originally, but I'm up here studying.
"But if I wanted to go home and do my lessons there it would be cheaper.
"But it's just too hard: I'm a student nurse, we're sent out on placements - which I need a car for".
She said even public transport isn't really an option for getting around.
"We're based in Galway City and I know girls who've been sent to Clifden, I've been sent to Roscommon, Ballinasloe - and the public transport in this country it's very unreliable - at best.
"Transport is a huge thing for us in nursing - it really is hard.
"As students as well we don't get paid for placement, and it's hard to work our own jobs at the weekend because we could be doing four days of placement - then we might have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off.
"And then we'd have to work Friday, Saturday, Sunday at our own jobs - which obviously pays for our shopping during the week.
"There's no time to save up for a car. It really is a privilege to learn how to drive.
"When I was at secondary school all the kids who had their licenses at 16/17, they got it because their mums and dads paid for it", she added.