A quarter of drivers admitted to having a bump, scrape, or accident in their first car, according to new research which surveyed more than 4,500 young drivers. Of the drivers surveyed who experienced an accident, 78% were found to have taken their driving test before they had met the official recommended 44 hours of tuition with a qualified instructor. As many drivers and motorcyclists know, you start to learn even more once you pass your test, as well as become familiar with your own vehicle – as lessons may have involved a driving school car.
The research from learner driver car insurance provider, Marmalade, looked at the average time taken for learner drivers to pass their test and the number of accidents young drivers experience in their first car, among other topics.
By contrast, it found 61% of learners who had more than 40 hours of lessons didn’t have an accident in their first car, and almost three-quarters (73%) of learners who had more than 10 hours of private lessons avoided bumps, scratches or crashes too.
The survey found that more than half of learners pass within seven months of starting lessons, and 78% of young learners are taking their test well in advance of the 45 hours of professional lessons recommended by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
According to the results, over a quarter (27%) of learner drivers pass their test after 21 to 30 hours of tuition, while the majority (28%) pass within 31 to 40 hours of lessons, short of the DVSA recommended figure.
Commenting on the results, CEO at Marmalade Crispin Moger said:
“The number of recommended lessons from the DVSA is guidance and it is not uncommon for learner drivers to pass in advance of this. Drivers learn at their own pace, however, we would recommend learners to have as much experience as possible before taking their test, to ensure they have the time to build their skills and to help avoid any unnecessary bumps or scrapes in their first car.”
The survey found 76% of drivers had driven with someone supervising alongside official driving lessons with a qualified instructor. Although driving lessons are currently paused and lockdowns have interrupted tuition over the past year, 55% of learners said they take 10 hours or more of private practise, and 36% take over 20 hours, while 24% don’t have any private practice at all.
The DVSA recommends 22 hours of private practice in addition to lessons.
“We encourage learner drivers to take private driving practice alongside their driving lessons to ensure they have gained enough experience to drive safely and confidently on the roads. Through private practice, learner drivers can experience driving at different times in the day, try alternative routes and gain confidence driving with a different passenger which will better prepare them for their test. We have also found just 1 in 19 new drivers that have black box technology installed experience accidents during their policy term, compared with 1 in 5 young drivers who have an accident in the first 6 months after passing their test, according to National Statistics.”