Coronavirus restrictions have led to long waiting lists for driving lessons. That’s according to a new survey of 150 driving instructors by Young Driver.
Just three per cent of UK instructors are available to take pupils on immediately, with 68 percent saying learner drivers need to wait more than two months. Six percent report a waiting list of over six months.
Moreover, 69 percent of driving instructors said they cannot meet demand among existing customers, with many only able to offer one lesson per fortnight. And 37 percent claimed some of their pupils had – at least temporarily – given up on learning to drive.
Be ready for driving lessons
If you plan to have driving lessons, here are Young Driver’s tips for how to prepare. The Vauxhall-sponsored scheme offers lessons for anyone aged 10 and upwards, so it’s never too early to start…
Plan ahead. If you are approaching 17 years old, start looking now. You are likely to be on a waiting list for a while.
Cast your net wide. Ask friends for their recommendations, but also contact your local driving instructor association and use the government website. Get on several waiting lists – you never know who may get a cancellation.
Get some private practice. Get behind the wheel with trusted family members or friends. They must be over 21, fully qualified and have had a driving licence for at least three years.
Use technology to hone your skills. Young Driver recently launched an app that includes 360-degree in-car videos, taking pupils from first lesson to driving test. Using a smartphone or VR headset, they cover everything from tackling junctions to parking and reversing.
Use this time to prepare for your theory test. Familiarise yourself with the driving test format and the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. Learning to drive isn’t all about being behind the wheel of a car, so get ahead by doing the foundations. The Young Driver app includes theory test practice modules and hazard perception videos.
Don’t feel pressured to go with any instructor you can find. It’s very important to choose an instructor you feel comfortable with as it will make the learning process much easier.
Of Corsa you can
Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “The delays in the system are very frustrating for teenagers who want to learn to drive and it’s disheartening to hear many are having to put their dream of learning to drive on hold.”
Established in 2009, Young Driver has delivered more than 950,000 driving lessons at 70 private venues across the UK. Anyone aged over 10 and above 1.42 metres tall can get behind the wheel of a dual controlled Vauxhall Corsa SE Premium, alongside a fully qualified ADI driving instructor.
The organisation also offers driving experiences in three classic cars: a Vauxhall VX490, Morris Minor or Austin 7 – plus a genuine ex-service fire engine.
Vauxhall Corsa 1.2T 100 SRi Nav 2020 review
The Highway Code turns 90: here are the road rules you may not know
How to move over safely for the emergency services