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Looking back on learning – what young drivers think now

monkey looking at reflection in wing mirror  

From the trickiest lesson to how much driving practice they did before the test, we polled our social media community of young drivers to find out exactly what they thought of learning to drive - now the L-plates are long gone.

Roundabouts, manoeuvres and clutch control

We asked our drivers what they thought the most difficult part of learning to drive was. 18% said learning manoeuvres was the hardest part, while the same percentage of drivers disagreed and felt dealing with roundabouts was the worst.

What was the most difficult part of learning? (Pie chart)

Only 22% found clutch control their biggest bugbear which was surprising to us. Perhaps if we'd asked instead what the most embarrasing part of learning was, stalling would come first place!

But the biggest issue found with learning to drive - with 42% - was sadly other drivers.

That's something we can definitely all bear in mind next time we see a learner out on the roads. Be patient, give them space and remember not to contribute to that stat.

Practice makes perfect

Since launching our new flexible learner insurance that lets learner drivers practise in someone else's car, we wanted to see how often our new drivers actually got in that crucial driving practice.

30% of drivers said they practiced all the time outside of their normal driving lessons, while 20% were down to only the odd occasion. Worringly, the remaining 50% hadn't practiced at all - with 7% of that group having regrets that they didn't.

Remember: it's never too late to get some practice in. You can download the ingenie Learner app for free (even if you've passed) on iOS and Android and start collecting trophies based on when and where you drive - it's pretty ace.

A helping hand

Out of those drivers who did practise outside of their lessons, we asked who was kind enough to take the passenger seat. Unsurprisingly, 83% of co-pilots were good ol' Mum and Dad. The remaining 17% was made up of Grandparents (7%), other relatives (5%) and friends (5%).

Who did you practise driving with? (Pie chart)

When opening up the poll to parents and asking whether they'd be happy for their teen to practise driving with them in their car, well over half would be happy to (66%), but 34% of parents would steer well clear.

For any parents out there feeling unsure about being a driving buddy - check out our Parent's Guide for some extra info on how to approach private practice.

It's not all scary

It's one of those milestones that you either thoroughly enjoy or completely dread. Some drivers have their first driving lesson booked in for their 17th birthday, where others delay getting in the driving seat for as long as possible (well, until Dad refuses to be chauffeur any longer).

But do learners enjoy their time behind the wheel when they do get there?

38% said yes, and they absolutely loved the process, while slightly less - 34% did enjoy it, but not all the time. 22% didn’t like their lessons but had to grin and bear it as they needed a driving licence, and 6% didn't enjoy learning at all as it was just too scary.

P is for pink licence

After all the hard work of learning has paid off, there's no better feeling than being handed a pass certificate. Our final poll asked drivers what passing meant to them and surprisingly it wasn't just about freedom.

With only 13% of votes, road trips were last on the list of what young drivers thought to be the best thing about passing, closely followed by having a boot to fill up with shopping (16%). A quarter were most pleased about not needing to ask for lifts, but the winning vote, that nearly half of drivers were most thrilled about, was no longer having to use public transport.

What did passing your driving test mean to you? (Pie chart)

I guess we really do hate waiting for buses - whatever age!

Katey Gregory

By Katey Gregory

Katey Joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of all things social and content. She passed her driving test in 2015 and her first car is a Toyota Yaris T3 named Tyrone.