More than one in three London drivers nervous about making long journeys as lockdown eases


More than one in three drivers (35%) from London are nervous about making long journeys as lockdown eases according to new research from insurers, NFU Mutual.

As families across the region plan to hit the roads over the bank holiday weekend some London drivers are lacking in confidence at the wheel with one in six (16 per cent) saying they would be unlikely to pass their test if they took it today.

After months of staying local, more than half (53 per cent) of Londoners who drive are planning to travel to a UK holiday destination this year – compared to 37 per cent of drivers from across the UK. However, 60 per cent of London drivers admit they would like to do a refresher course to improve their confidence in the driver’s seat. Meanwhile one in three (34%) think their partner or spouse could do with brushing up on their driving skills.

Motor insurance claims to NFU Mutual increased by 21 percent in the week following 12th April when lockdown began to ease in England. The spike in claims follows similar increases in road traffic accidents to the insurer following the end of every lockdown in 2020. NFU Mutual is predicting another increase in claims of at least 15%* next week and is appealing to drivers to be extra cautious on the roads.

To help prevent future road accidents, NFU Mutual is offering 1,000 free two-hour Drive Doctor ‘driving confidence’ sessions to its car and van insurance customers. Since May last year the company has also been offering car and light goods vehicle customers complimentary RAC breakdown cover and this has now been extended until 30 June 2021.

Jade Devlin at NFU Mutual, comments: “Driver confidence can be knocked for a whole host of reasons but with lockdown easing motorists are facing unique concerns. Where easing has happened, we’ve seen sharp surges in reported car accidents with roads getting busier very quickly and drivers taking their first long distance drives for a while. We’re sadly expecting the same over the May bank holiday weekends, so would urge drivers to take care on the roads. We’ve introduced the free Drive Doctors sessions to help boost driver confidence and help prevent accidents.”

NFU Mutual has been successfully providing driving confidence sessions as part of its Young Drivers’ Scheme for seven years, helping over 3,000 young drivers. The sessions are delivered by advanced driving instructors from Drive Doctors and are tailored to the specific needs of the driver. If the sessions are in demand from other driver groups, NFU Mutual will consider providing them to all car and van customer groups as an optional add-on service as part of its insurance product offering in the future.