A combination of the lockdown restrictions over the past six months, a ‘baby boom’ in 2003/4 and a decline in registered driving instructors means the UK could fall into a national shortage of driving instructors in the latter half of 2020, with the problem only predicted to continue and grow.
Learner driver insurers, Marmalade has studied the data and forecast big problems for the industry and learner drivers in years to come with the shortage of instructors and amount of pupils per instructor only set to increase on both accounts.
for those soon to turn 17 or are looking to learn to drive for the first time, finding an instructor with availability right now may feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, and that’s not just because of the backlog caused by lockdown which saw more than 400,000 practical tests cancelled!
According to data from the Department of Transport, the amount of UK driving instructors has fallen by 12% over the past seven years – falling from 44,569 in 2013 to 39,521 at the start of 2020 – and this is predicted to fall even further in the coming years. In five years there could be just 38,000 instructors just as the 2003 baby boom swings into effect and they reach 794,383 new 17 year olds by then compared to 695,000 this year.
There could also be added problems if older people take up learning to drive rather than confront social distancing on an inadequate public transport system.