Lockdown restrictions coming in and out of place throughout 2020 has had a significant impact on learner drivers, but it doesn’t seem to have kept them off the road and their journey to freedom. As a result of this, Marmalade Learner Driver Insurance has reported a 54% year-on-year increase in customers taking out the policy between 1st August and 31st October.
The first week of the November lockdown saw a record week for new Learner Driver Insurance policies as driving lessons and tests were put on hold by the UK Government, with the week following the lockdown reporting over double the sales from the same week in 2019.
Learner Driver Insurance policy lengths are also increasing, with the average length now at around 64 days post-March lockdown, a 14% increase to pre-Covid levels showing that learners are keen to get as much experience and time on the road as possible.
Our data also shows that learners are still turning to parents to teach them the ropes alongside instructors. Customer data shows that 80% of the time, parents are teaching the skills, 14% are family members while 5% are seeking tuition from a friend, the remaining 1% learn in a company car.
The demand for Learner Driver Insurance and support from family and friends is likely to stem from the backlog in booking a driving test and halts to professional tuition from various lockdown restrictions.
Our recent research shows that the birth rate increased in 2003/4, meaning a boom of new learners in 2020/21. That paired with a trend in the decline of driving instructors and a pandemic causing delays for tuition over two lockdown periods, plus advice urging some to avoid public transport means lots of demand, with more limited supply.
Commenting on the trends, CEO of Marmalade, Crispin Moger said:
“It’s no surprise that we are seeing more learner drivers coming to us for Learner Driver Insurance specifically, it’s a trend across the board we’ve seen from other providers and the common consensus is that the impact of the pandemic and delays to tuition and tests have been the root cause.
“The baby boom in 2003/4 and the gradual trend in the decline of driving instructors has only exacerbated what is a terrible situation for learner drivers. Our data and forecasting show that next year could see them face the biggest delays for tuition in almost a decade as we see the fallout from the industry being placed on pause.
“We always encourage learners to take private practice alongside professional tuition from an approved driving instructor. However, it is encouraging to see an increase in learner drivers using our Learner Insurance to get that extra practice to maintain their skills and do as much as they can to combat the delay to get on the road.”