Local learn to drive hotspots revealed

As bookings go online and driving lessons and tests return in great demand this week, new figures show an 86% year-on-year increase in demand for learner car insurance in Northern Ireland – despite the pandemic.

Sunday, 16th May 2021, 6:00 am
Greg Wilson, CompareNI.com’s founder

The top hotspots with the most learners in 2020 were Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, followed my Mid and East Antrim and Newry, Mourne and Down.

The top three areas with the biggest year-on-year increase, at over 100%, were Mid and East Antrim and Causeway Coast and Glens – both with a 110% increase in learners, followed by Ards and North Down at 107%.

Interestingly, the overall UK figure showed a third of learners were over 30 years old, with Northern Ireland below the national average at 25% over 30 in 2019, falling to just 17% in 2020.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Learning to drive during the pandemic

The data, from CompareNI.com, also reveals that many motorists spend longer as learner drivers than might be expected, with almost a third (32.2%) holding a provisional licence for more than a decade.

The research also shows demand for learner premiums has rocketed 42% from 2019 to 2020, although the average age was still firmly rooted in the mid-20s. The data was sourced from 2019 and 2020 records covering a sample of 50,000 provisional drivers across the UK.

Greg Wilson, CompareNI.com’s founder said: “It’s great to see some normality return this week with learners keen to book in their test and get out on the road as soon as possible. It’s unusual to see such a spike in demand for learner car insurance considering lessons and testing have been on hold for the most part of 2020, but perhaps family members have had more time at home on furlough or working from home to do the teaching themselves.

“It is likely Northern Ireland has a higher percentage of younger drivers compared to the overall UK average as our public transport links aren’t quite as extensive, and a lot of young people here leave the country for university, so many may be keen to get their full licence before they go.

CompareNI.com data

“Some learners can find it difficult to get insurance and when they do it can be expensive as insurers deem their lack of experience as high risk, but there are lots of things learners can do nowadays to help them get a competitive price, such as choosing telematics insurance which monitors their driving, choosing a car with a smaller engine size and shopping around for the best deals by using a price comparison site such as ours.”

CompareNI.com is Northern Ireland’s largest insurance comparison website - helping learner drivers find a better deal on their provisional insurance, and for anyone wanting to take lessons with a friend or family member there’s also the option of temporary learner insurance.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to newsletter.co.uk

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Thank you