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8 minute read Car Sharing

No L Plates, No Problem?

We reveal the real reason so many Brits are put off driving.

by Louise Thomas

• Over a third of drivers pass their test at the age of 17
• More than 1 in 8 people NEVER get behind the wheel within the first year of passing their test
• Over three quarters of people found their confidence INCREASED since passing their driving test
• 16% of Admiral customers put off driving for up to THREE YEARS after getting their licence
• Almost a quarter of us prefer driving with a passenger
• Over half of us would be more confident on the roads with more support from family and friends

We conducted a study that has revealed that around one in eight (12%) drivers across the UK NEVER get behind the wheel within the first year of passing their test, despite the fact more than three quarters of drivers believe driving skills will deteriorate after not driving for a long time.

Drivers in the UK are quick off the blocks to pass their test, with almost two thirds (62%) of learners passing their test between the ages of 17 -19, but once the ‘L’ plates are off, many are putting off driving.

Analysis of Admiral customers revealed that 16% of new drivers had not driven for between one and three years after getting their full driving licence. Over half (55%) of drivers who have stayed away from the driving seat for three years were women, while 45% of drivers putting it off were men. More than three quarters (78%) of those drivers were under 25 years old.

New research by Veygo and FirstCar magazine found out why so many new drivers put off hitting the roads after passing their tests, revealing that almost half (49%) of new drivers have no access to a car – putting the brakes on their driving ambitions.

Over a third (38%) of people putting off driving felt that running a car was simply too expensive, while 13% explained that being at university meant they didn’t need to drive as much.

Top 10 reasons people put off driving

RankReason Given
1I don’t have access to a car
2It’s too expensive
3I’m at college or university and don’t need a car
4I don’t want to run a car as I’m saving money
5I’m too nervous
6I prefer to use public transport
7My family or friends drive me around
8My parents are too nervous to let me drive
9I prefer to cycle
10It’s environmentally unfriendly


With finances front of mind for many, 11% of drivers put off driving because they’d rather put their money towards saving for something else.

Meanwhile, 7% of drivers said they were too nervous to hit the roads after they’d passed their test, while a further 4% said their parents were too nervous to let them drive.

28-year-old Erin Ford from Cardiff hasn’t driven regularly since she passed her test ten years ago. She says: “Once I got stuck doing a three-point-turn and a stranger had to finish the manoeuvre off for me. That didn’t help my confidence!

“If I am honest, I do feel too nervous about driving now because it’s been so long and I’m not sure I would remember what to do. It would be useful if there was some sort of refresher course to remind me what to do. I wouldn’t feel comfortable practising with friends or family, just in case they’ve picked up bad habits – and they don’t have dual pedals either.”

It’s (NOT) like riding a bike

Showing that the age-old saying ‘practice makes perfect’ rings true when it comes to driving, over three quarters of drivers (77%) felt their confidence behind the wheel increased after passing their test, and the same number of people felt that the driving skills of someone who didn’t drive for a long time would deteriorate.

Confidence in the co-drivers

While half of drivers were impartial to having a passenger beside them while driving, almost a quarter (24%) of drivers said they’d prefer to drive if someone was with them.

When asked what would make them a more confident driver, almost two thirds of drivers (62%) felt that the support of family, partners or friends would give them a boost and a third of drivers said that having a driving companion would improve their confidence.

A huge 86% of drivers felt driving more frequently would help to make them more confident behind the wheel, and over half of drivers (54%) said that having more lessons or a refresher course would bolster their self-belief.

Less traffic (55%) and being able to drive without distractions (68%) were some of the other big factors drivers felt would improve their confidence on the roads.

Meanwhile, over a quarter (30%) of drivers blamed their wheels for the lack of confidence, saying that a different car would help to make them more confident.

Who holds the keys?

Our research found that less than half (49%) of new drivers own a car, with many people instead sharing a car with a family member or friend (13%) or using the family car (12%).

Laws are changing, but is confidence?

Earlier this year, the law changed to allow learner drivers to have lessons on the motorway. We welcomed this change in law to help build young drivers’ confidence and experience, helping to make the roads safer for everyone.

In recent research, over a third of Admiral customers said they drove on a motorway within a few days of passing their test, while 80% of Admiral customers said they wished they had been able to take lessons on the motorway while learning to drive.

Head of Veygo, Jean-Baptiste Limare, said:

“Although most people pass their test at seventeen a lot of people are putting off getting behind the wheel which could impact on their driving confidence in the long term. There are a number of reasons for this, many of which are completely avoidable.

“Driving habits are changing and more young people are passing their driving test, and not then getting their own car. But not having your own set of wheels shouldn’t be a barrier to being able to drive.

“By offering flexible Car Sharing Insurance that provides comprehensive cover to drivers without their own car, anyone can borrow a friend or family member’s car for anything from one hour to a month, so they are only paying for what they need.

“The benefit of a policy with Veygo means that the car owner’s insurance policy and No Claims Bonus are unaffected – reducing the risk of costs adding up for the driver borrowing the car.”

Need to borrow a friend or family member’s car? Insure yourself from one hour to 30 days with Car Sharing Insurance.

Louise Thomas

Hi I'm Louise and I'm a Marketing Executive at Veygo. I've been driving for nearly two years after several "practice" tests! I love the freedom that comes with finally having a driving licence. Road trips with my friends are the best - especially when we've got an awesome playlist going! (check out our Spotify for road trip playlists!)

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