Driving Instructor Shortage Predicted

Fri 14th Aug 2020

If you are looking to start learning to drive then it might be a good time to get yourself an instructor as one of the UK’s biggest insurers has predicted a fall in the number of expert driving tutors.

Research from Marmalade has found a combination of three key factors has led to the perfect storm of the instructor shortage. They key defining factor has been the backlog of cancelled driving tests caused by the pandemic lockdown. More than 400,000 tests were postponed or cancelled during lockdown which means that those who might have passed by now are still in need of a driving instructor.

The second factor is a baby boom in 2003, which means that there are more people turning 17 and being eligible to drive, the rise in 17-year-olds will continue over the next nine years ensuring a competition for the fewer driving instructors will increase. And to make the situation even worse, the third factor is evident from DVSA data which shows that the number of registered driving instructors is on the decline - falling 12 per cent over the last seven years. If the current fall continues then there will be just 35,000 instructors on the roads by 2025 - or one for every 23 potential students.

CEO at Marmalade Crispin Moger said: “While it’s not surprising that the demand for driving instructors looks to be significant in the coming months following the lockdown restrictions, this is just the beginning when it comes to the much bigger issue of a national shortage of approved driving instructors.

“With the warnings surrounding public transport, we are expecting to see more young people than ever before wanting to learn to drive themselves over the coming months, and this is before you even look at the national birth statistics which suggests more teenagers than ever will be turning 17 in the coming years.

“To support your driving instructor, we urge learners to be on time for lessons with their mask as required, and to cancel their lesson with as much notice as possible if they display any symptoms.

"If during these busy times you’re not getting lessons as often as you would like with your instructor, learner drivers can still practise in the company of a parent, family member or friend, providing the tutor is over the age of 21, they have the right learner driver insurance and has held their licence for three years.”