New research from Marmalade reveals strong feelings to the latest Government proposal requiring learner drivers to pay a deposit which is returned if they pass their test. Many respondents feel that the deposit is unfair on those who are nervous in test situations and it is the test itself that needs an overhaul rather than adding additional expense.
Marmalade, a leading provider of cars and insurance for young drivers, surveyed its customers aged between 17 and 25 on the proposalsi that are currently out for consultation. More than 450 responded revealing a split over the deposit, 49 per cent of respondents like the idea and 40 per cent are completely opposed. However, more than two thirds of all those surveyed (69 per cent) feel that the deposit is unfair to those who don’t perform well in test situations. More than half of those questioned (56 per cent) said that a potential loss of deposit would make them more nervous about the test, with 36 per cent saying that it would not be an issue.
More popular was the proposal to introduce additional driving test appointment times, including weekends and evenings, with 88 per cent of respondents seeing this as a good way to reduce waiting times and make more appointments available. Many felt that this would also help to eliminate some of the guesswork currently required when booking in for their test two months in advance. However, respondents expressed concern that this could make the test unfair, with driving at night or on Sundays making the test much harder or easier for novice drivers.
The survey generated many additional comments expressing concern about the ability to test an individual in just 40 minutes; with respondents instead wanting to see young drivers assessed over a period of time. There are further calls for young people to experience driving in different places (town, country, motorway, hill and flat), different situations and weather conditions, more manoeuvres to be introduced and test extended to get a better overall view of competency.
Crispin Moger, CEO of Marmalade, said: “Everyone learns in different ways and some people need to experience the test in order to help them relax second time round. It’s great that driving tests are being looked at, there are obviously issues that need addressing, but many of the problems occur once young drivers are on their own for the first time rather than driving with someone sitting beside them. As an industry we need to take on board the opinions of young drivers and their parents and work together to achieve the key objective – keeping young people safe on our roads.”