Close to one million drivers in the UK haven’t got behind the wheel since passing their test

Lack of confidence and high running costs are the two main reasons why

New research carried out by the comparison website comparethemarket.com has discovered that close to one million drivers in the UK have not got behind the wheel of a car since passing their test.

Known throughout the country as “parked” drivers, many new licence holders avoid getting behind the wheel because of high running costs and/or a sudden lack of confidence.

 

Close to one million new drivers haven't driven since passing their test

Learner driver vehicle © Copyright Gary and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Back in August this year, the comparison website canvassed 3,002 licence holders in the UK and found that out of those surveyed, 2% had not got behind the wheel of a car since celebrating their good news and even more alarming was the fact that one in 10 licence holders hadn’t driven for 12 months or longer.

According to DVLA statistics, the UK now has 35.3 million fully qualified drivers, meaning that around 706,000 of those have not driven since passing their test.

The “parked” drivers were asked why they hadn’t taken to the road after passing their test and 37% blamed high driving costs and around a quarter of those asked said that they struggled with confidence.

A lack in confidence can be extremely hard to beat once the worry and fear has set in. 50% of the “parked” motorists questioned admitted that they would struggle to find the confidence to get back behind the wheel, whilst over one third said they would consider a refresher course before taking control of a vehicle.

The survey also discovered that although women are known to be the safer drivers, they do suffer a lot more with lack of confidence than men, even those who drive frequently. Of those surveyed, 12.5% of women compared to 4.6% of men said that they lacked confidence and belief in their driving abilities, and of the “parked” female motorists surveyed, 22% said the reason they don’t drive is because they are scared of having an accident, compared to only 7% of men.

According to the new research, most people pass their driving test at the age of 17 and this could be the reason for the survey’s findings, as almost one in 10 of those questioned felt under pressure to take their test as soon as they reached the age of consent and one fifth said they never took into consideration how much it costs to keep a car on the road.

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