Young drivers suggest how the learning process can be improved

31st July 2017

The current system of learning to drive isn’t up to scratch, according to the very people it is designed for.

According to research from Marmalade – which specialises in insuring young motorists – the cost of learning to drive is too high, and the level of support is insufficient, leaving them unprepared for life behind the wheel.

Of the 1,800-plus young and learner drivers surveyed by Marmalade, a quarter of them reckoned that driving should be represented as an option in the school curriculum, while a similar proportion (26 per cent) believe that the government should provide subsided driving lessons.

One in four want to see something done about reducing wait times for taking tests too. Other suggested improvements included raising the test requirements to weed out any knowledge gaps, reducing fuel prices, increasing awareness of safe driving practices and conducting lessons in different conditions, such as during rush hour or at night.

The study revealed that half of young learner drivers are more anxious about their driving test than their school exams.

Drilling down in these concerns, a fifth were anxious about other road users or having an accident, while one in six feared stalling. A further 13 per cent were worried about never passing their test.

The research suggested that the process of learning to drive fell short when it came to teaching drivers how to survive on the road.

More than a third of the sample (38 per cent) said they weren’t confident driving on a motorway, while 31 per cent were worried about breaking down. A fifth were concerned about vehicle maintenance too.

Crispin Moger, chief executive at Marmalade, said: “More can and should be done to help people learn to drive.

“At a time when young people are under pressure from A-level and university exams, their first jobs and the general stress of growing up, there are too many obstacles standing in the way of them picking up a life-changing skill.”

Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, added: “Programmes like Pass Plus can help better prepare new drivers, but they come at an extra cost when the process of acquiring a driving licence has already hit finances hard. The DVSA should take this research on board and seriously consider where improvements can be made.”