Learner drivers face massive lesson backlog due to covid
- Credit: Adrian Flux
Learner drivers are being forced to practice in their parents’ cars as a result of backlogs and waiting lists caused by Covid lockdowns.
One Norfolk insurer says it has seen a 60pc increase in business from learner drivers insuring their parents' cars for lessons.
King's Lynn-based Arian Flux said during April and May 2021, a total of 8,232 policies or quotes were made or taken out by learners who stated the car they were driving belonged to a parent. For the same date range in 2019, the company’s figures were just 5,117.
“Learner drivers are doing everything they can to get around this problem,” said Gerry Bucke, Adrian Flux’s general manager. "There’s obviously a massive demand for driving instructors at the moment and lessons are like gold dust. It’s a frustrating time and learners are now taking the matter into their own hands and getting some time behind the wheel with their parents.
“We wouldn’t be surprised if more people took advantage of that fact that you can get insured to drive your parents’ cars with the backlogs from lockdown likely to take months to clear.”
More than 1.2m learners are thought to be waiting to take a test while thousands of drivers are scrambling to land prized lessons with heavily over-subscribed instructors.
That surge of interest since lessons resumed on April 22 hasn’t been helped by a 13pc decrease in the number of instructors over the last few years. DVSA figures show there were 44,569 instructors registered in the UK in 2013 but this had falled to 38,778 by December 2020.
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“We work closely with driving instructors, we know how great they are,” added Mr Bucke.“The system is just under huge pressure and while we know learning with a qualified instructor is the best option, driving your parents’ car is the next best thing - especially for those who are already comfortable or experienced.”