The gradual easing of the coronavirus lockdown has seen more new drivers than ever opting to learn with another family member, suggests analysis of RAC Learner Driver Insurance data.
With driving instructors unable to start giving tuition again until 4 July as a result of the pandemic, figures show just how eager new drivers were to get behind the wheel with RAC Insurance recording its highest-ever weekly demand for learner driver insurance during the first week of June – up on the same week last year marginally, and a significant 37% up on 2018.
And despite driving schools now back in operation the desire to take lessons from a family member shows no signs of abating, perhaps in part fuelled by a long backlog of students wanting to learn to drive with an instructor.
The average number of learner driver policies bought each week through June and the first half of this month is up 27.5% on pre-lockdown levels and is also higher than the RAC would expect to see at this time of year, up 6% on the same period in 2019.
The figures also reveal provisional drivers are now opting for longer policies of 36 days, up from an average of 30 days over the same period last year* – suggesting those starting out on their driving careers are keen to make up for time lost earlier in the lockdown when they were unable to learn to drive.
Separate RAC research conducted earlier in the lockdown showed that a third of drivers aged 17 to 34 felt having access to a car was more important than ever during the pandemic. The ongoing message from national and local governments for people to avoid public transport up until now could also have had the effect of accelerating new drivers’ interest in having lessons, and passing their test to give them the freedom they need.