Learning to Drive

UK motorists told us about their experience of learning to drive and getting behind the wheel of their own car.

What's it like passing your driving test and getting out on the road by yourself?

For many of us, a driving test is a rite of passage that's hard to forget. Whether the outcome is a pass or a fail, it's likely that our first encounter of freedom will be one to add to our personal history books. But what's it really like to be a first-time driver out there on the open road today?

We surveyed 2,000 UK motorists about their experience of learning to drive and what it was like when they first got behind the wheel of their own car.

We found that the main reason people feel motivated to learn to drive is the need for independence; the other top motivators are having the ability to get from A to B at their own pace and the need to drive to a place of work.

Once they pass their test, most new drivers hit the road the same day, but that in itself creates new anxieties. The biggest worries are driving in bad weather, driving in the dark and being out on the road alone, with no instructor.

But it's not long before those who have just passed their test start to develop bad driving habits just like the rest of us. Take a look at our infographic below to get an insight into the minds of British motorists on the driving test and how they felt when they first got to hit the road after they passed.

Your questions answered

This is where you will find all the overall and regional results we collected.


Results for the UKUnited Kingdom

Show Hide

How did you feel when you took your test for the first time?

Nervous

47%

Confident

23%

Anxious

17%

Excited

7%

Scared

3%

Motivated

2%

Other

1%

How long after your test did it take you to go out on the road by yourself?

A day

55%

A week

25%

A month

7%

A year

2%

Not until I bought my first car

7%

Not until I familiarised myself with the routes I'd need to take

9%

None of the above

3%

When thinking back to your first lone driving experience, which of the following things were you most worried about?

Driving in difficult weather conditions

30%

Driving in the dark

29%

Driving alone

23%

Breaking down and being unaccompanied

16%

Not knowing your way around

15%

Crashing

15%

Driving with other passengers in the car

10%

Ending up in a destination you don't know

7%

Not knowing how to put fuel in the car

5%

Not understanding road signs / instructions

4%

Not being able to concentrate

4%

None of the above

25%

Other

3%

What were your main motives or reasons for wanting to learn how to drive?

To be more independent

62%

I like to get to places at my own pace

50%

Being able to get to work

41%

I like to be in control

32%

I like the idea of being comfortable in my own space

21%

To get away at weekends

15%

My job requires me to drive

13%

Wanting to show that I could

13%

To help out my parents / family members

12%

Because my friends were learning to drive

8%

Being able to get to college/school

7%

To be able to visit my partner

5%

Other

3%

Which of the following parts of the UK driving test do you feel are most relevant?

Parking

62%

Theory test

50%

Hill start

41%

Hazard perception

30%

Emergency stop

29%

Turn in the road

25%

Reverse around the corner

24%

Demonstrating knowledge of car's features

21%

I think they are all important

58%

None of the above

2%

Taking into consideration the way you drive now, do you feel you could pass your driving test today?

Yes - I believe I am a good driver

33%

Yes - I believe my driving style still compliments how I drove when I first passed

25%

Yes - I don't think it would be difficult to pass at this stage

17%

Yes- I am regularly complimented on my driving

6%

No - I'm not a confident driver

7%

No - I believe my driving style has changed drastically

6%

No - I don't think I can drive at test standard

6%

How many times did it take you to pass your test?

Once

50%

Twice

31%

Three times

13%

Four times

3%

Five times

1%

More than five times

1%


Regional results

Show Hide

How long after reaching the legal driving age did you wait to take your test? Survey said...

How did you feel when you took your test for the first time? Survey said...

How long after your test did it take you to go out on the road by yourself? Survey said...

When thinking back to your first lone driving experience, which of the following things were you most worried about? Survey said...

Who taught or is teaching you how to drive? Survey said...

If you have children, who is teaching or taught them how to drive? Survey said...

Would you say you are understanding of learner drivers? Survey said...

Do you treat recently passed drivers (a driver with the passed sticker on their car) with the same caution and understanding you would treat a learner driver? Survey said...

What were your main motives or reasons for wanting to learn how to drive? Survey said...

Which of the following parts of the UK driving test do you feel are most relevant? Survey said...

Taking into consideration the way you drive now, do you feel you could pass your driving test today? Survey said...

How many times did it take you to pass your test? Survey said...

If you failed your first driving test, how did that make you feel? Survey said...


Tell us what you think