Yet four in 10 say they'll never take lessons.

More than two-thirds of Brits without a driving licence say they regret never learning to drive, according to new research. A survey of 1,500 non-driving British adults found cost is a key barrier to getting on the road for most, while fear of accidents and other drivers put some would-be drivers off.

According to the study, which was commissioned by price comparison site CompareTheMarket.com, 69 percent of non-drivers say they regret not getting their licences. Yet 40 percent of respondents said they didn’t think they would ever take the plunge – and their tests.

Almost a third (31 percent) of those without a licence said they thought the cost of lessons and obtaining a licence would be too great. And the same proportion said they thought buying a car, insuring it and running it would be too costly.

Driving instructors car with the learner driving in Portsmouth Hampshire UK

Almost a quarter of respondents (24 percent) said they simply didn’t want to drive, while others claimed to be fearful of getting behind the wheel. Almost a fifth (19 percent) said they were scared of other drivers, while the same proportion claimed they were worried about having an accident.

The research also revealed noticeable differences between the responses of the men and women surveyed. Nearly a quarter of the women surveyed (23 percent) said the main reason they never learned was because they were scared of other drivers, compared with just 10 percent of male respondents. Similarly, 22 percent of women admitted they were scared of having an accident, but only 11 percent of men said the same.

What with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, perrhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that so many drivers cite affordability as a barrier to learning to drive. Almost three in 10 18-24-year-olds (28 percent) said the costs kept them out of the driving seat, although 69 percent said they planned to learn in the future.

“Our research shows that for the majority of people who can’t drive, the cost of buying a car and running it is the determining factor that puts people off learning, especially those aged between 18-24,” said Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at CompareTheMarket.com.

“For the 69 percent of 18-24-year-olds who plan on learning to drive in the future, it’s worth noting that buying a car is likely to be more expensive than insurance. The pandemic hasn’t helped this and has forced many young people into financial difficulty, impacting their ability to fund the running costs of having a car. The easiest way to combat this is by switching. Our statistics indicate that 17-24-year-olds can save over £200 by switching to a better deal on the market.”

Learner student driving car with instructor