Data predicts learners in the East of England could travel up to 36.57 Miles for a test by 2030

Lifestyle / Tue 18th Jun 2024 at 10:15am

A NEW report, which has analysed more than six million journeys made for a driving test in the UK over the past four years, has revealed how far learner drivers are travelling in the East of England.

The research by learner driver insurers, Marmalade, has been conducted to find out how distances travelled for a driving test are changing and if learners are looking further afield for a test. The report has analysed all tests taken by every learner driver in the East of England.

The data which was uncovered through multiple Freedom of Information (FOI) requests over a six-month period revealed learners in the East of England are currently travelling an average of 15.6 miles for a test – that’s 26.50% more than the national average of 12.33 miles.

While forecasts based on the annual rate of growth to date of 12.95% reveal the distance travelled could rise to 36.57 miles by 2030.

Between 2019 and 2023, the distance travelled for a test in the East of England has increased by 62.74%.

The report has also analysed the average distance travelled to reach every test centre in the UK. 

Here’s the top ten test centres that have the highest average distances travelled to reach them in the East of England in 2023, with some exceeding the average:

Nationwide, the predictions show learners could travel 24.49 miles on average across the UK by 2030. 

Commenting on the data, driving instructor Mark Steeples from Pass Mark School of Driving said: 

“I find it pretty astonishing that learners could end up having to travel around 25 miles for a test. I’m amazed at the year-on-year increase in distance travelled for a test, but I suppose it shows the desperation that people have in wanting to learn how to drive and they’ll go to any means necessary to do it.”

While the 2023 records also revealed that one learner travelled from Exeter, all the way to Shetland, an eye watering 647 mile journey for a test. While 34,614 learners made a trip of more than 100 miles for a test.

Mark commented on how he’d had enquiries from people wanting to travel further afield for a test: 

“I’ve had enquiries from people who want to learn and get into a test around 50 miles away from me. Why go to an area that you don’t know? It’s hard enough doing a test anyway, you have a lifetime to drive on the UK roads, but don’t pick the day of your driving test to do that. 

“A lot of instructors just teach test routes in the local area, but that means that most learners won’t be prepared for any test route and the potential impacts of driving in a new place.”

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