Following Government attempts to bolster the learner driver experience, Marmalade, the leading provider of cars and insurance for young people and driving force behind the UK’s second Learner Driver Week, has identified the top three situations learner drivers want to have included in their lessons. The outcome – it’s not restrictions that learner drivers want, it’s gaining experience to reflect real-life driving scenarios.  

The Marmalade annual Census* has revealed that in addition to motorway driving which was introduced earlier this year, learner drivers aged 17-24 years want to experience night-time driving (58%), rush-hour driving (48%) and be shown how to change a wheel by the side of the road (37%) during their driving tutorial with an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI).

Parents of learner drivers were also in agreement with their top three scenarios being: night-time driving (74%), rush-hour driving (66%) and changing a tyre by the side of the road (45%).

Crispin Moger, CEO at Marmalade, comments: “Our Census has identified two very common driving scenarios plus a skill set that all drivers should be confident in, which can be implemented within a driving lesson, without too much upheaval.

“We take it very seriously that new drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident, however most bumps are not down to reckless behaviour, they’re caused by inexperience. Rather than apply restrictions, let’s encourage the Government to broaden their knowledge with skilled professionals, in a safe environment.”

Over the past twelve months, the Government has been making progressive shifts to improve the learner driver experience. The driving test was officially changed on 4th December 2017 to include increasing independent driving to 20 minutes, following a sat nav, revising the manoeuvres and answering a vehicle safety question whilst driving.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced in February this year, that the Department for Transport was investigating a proposal for the graduated licenses scheme, to help reduce the number of accidents involving newly qualified motorists. In June, the law was modified to give learner drivers the choice to take a voluntary driving lesson on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales, if they are accompanied by an ADI.

Crispin continues: “It is great to see learner and newly-qualified drivers are an agenda point for the government, but their focus needs to concentrate on the education to enhance one’s knowledge and skillset, rather than imposing restrictions.

‘‘Driving is predominantly an exhilarating experience for young drivers as they thrive from their new-found freedom, yet it can present situations which require quick reactions, so it is important they are equipped with making the safest decisions. It is extremely encouraging to hear learner drivers have identified additional scenarios – albeit the more stressful ones – that they want to rehearse, build confidence and develop skillsets.”

Learner Driver Week is an initiative dedicated to educating, inspiring, empowering and championing the UK’s eight million learner drivers, until 28 September 2018.

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* This online survey of 681 UK learner drivers aged 17-25 and 648 parents of learner drivers was commissioned and conducted by Marmalade Car Insurance and market research company OnePoll, in accordance with the Market Research Society’s code of conduct. Data was collected between 13/04/2018 and 27/04/2018. All participants are double-opted in to take part in research and are paid an amount depending on the length and complexity of the survey. This survey was overseen and edited by the OnePoll research team, who are members of the MRS and have corporate membership to ESOMAR.