It’s a common misconception that learner drivers are school leavers in their late teens, yet statistics reveal the average age of a new driver is twenty-six. In 2020, car insurance website Quotezone investigated a sample of 50,000 provisional drivers across the UK. They found that 15,000 people in this sample were over the age of thirty, with 8.7% in their forties and 3.8% in their fifties.
Reasons for Mature Learner Drivers
Cost: Automotive firm RAC notes that on average, it costs around £1551 for young people to get a UK driving license. This number jumps to £6,000 when considering the additional costs of a second-hand car and insurance. Therefore, without the support of family and friends, many young people cannot afford to learn how to drive.
City Living: Living in a city makes driving even more expensive. On top of all the usual expenses, you will experience higher insurance premiums, congestion charges and costly parking permits. Given cities around the UK have improved public transport links, there is no wonder why city dwellers don’t learn to drive at a young age.
Learner drivers of an older age are more accustomed to being the vehicle passenger. The thought of actually controlling a car can be a frightening prospect. However, being a mature learner shouldn’t be intimidating.
A common concern amongst older learners is that their reaction time to road hazards will be slower compared to when they were younger. However, being a passenger for so many years will have taught them a thing or two about road etiquette and driving principles. Therefore, mature drivers often have road smarts before even getting behind a wheel, which can help them spot potential hazards quickly when learning how to drive.
The older generation also worries about the time it may take to pass their test. Mature learners usually need additional training due to heightened caution around driving, yet they often have less time for driving lessons due to career and family commitments. However, a long learning journey is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s important to remember that learning how to drive should never be a hurried process. Learner drivers who take their time and build their confidence slowly are more likely to become safe and competent drivers.
Benefits of Being a Mature Learner Driver
Cost: As you get older, it’s likely your finances will improve and therefore it should be easier to afford driving lessons. In addition, insurance premiums are usually cheaper for more mature learners, so waiting until you are thirty or forty before learning how to drive can actually be more cost-effective.
Time: It’s likely you will be much better at time management now you are older, particularly if you have children. The years of juggling school runs, family meals and extracurricular activities will come in handy when trying to find time for your weekly driving lesson.
Determination: Almost all new drivers will be determined to pass their test first time. However, when you are a mature learner, and a new job prospect or house move depends on whether you can drive, you have some extra incentives.
Learning how to drive is both an exciting and daunting prospect. Therefore, we recommend using professional driving instructors to help you gain confidence and pass your test first time. At Get Set Driving, we tailor our driving lessons to suit individual strengths and weaknesses, equipping you with the skills to become a self-assured and competent driver, no matter what your age.