An estimated 2.6 million Brits are 'too scared' to learn to drive, while even more simply don’t feel the need to learn, according to new research. A study of 2,000 motorists by finance firm Go Car Credit found 21 percent of people without a licence say they are too fearful to get behind the wheel.

Assuming the people quizzed were representative of the population as a whole, that means as many as 2.6 million people could be too anxious to start driving. However, the study also showed even more motorists are being put off driving by other factors, including finances and the availability of public transport.

Of the respondents without a licence, almost a third (32 percent) said they never felt the need to drive, thanks to the public transport network, cycling or taxis. A similar proportion (31 percent) said they thought the cost of learning to drive, including lessons, study materials and tests, was prohibitively high.

Learner driver and instructor standing outside car

A quarter (25 percent) of respondents said they had been put off by the costs incurred after passing the test, with concerns raised about the price of cars, fuel and insurance, as well as maintenance. And a fifth of those questioned said they simply hadn’t got round to learning. Amusingly, three percent of those without a driving licence said they were simply “too lazy” to learn.

Among those who had learned to drive, the advice to others was clear: get a proper driving instructor. A quarter (25 percent) of the licence holders in the group warned would-be drivers their fathers were the worst instructors they had ever had, while 22 percent said the same of their mothers.

By the same token, one in 10 motorists (10 percent) said asking a friend for lessons was also a mistake, but drivers were far more complimentary about qualified driving instructors. A massive 76 percent said their driving instructor offered the most “encouraging and stress-free environment” in which to learn.

“It is completely natural to feel anxiety when learning to drive, but it’s important we don’t let these fears and worries block us from gaining an extremely valuable life skill,” said Hayley O’Connor, the marketing manager at Go Car Credit. “Driving can open up a whole host of opportunities in our day to day lives, whether for work or in our leisure time. Anyone with a bad financial history can find barriers to their driving experience but should know that there are providers out there that can cater to their needs.

“We wish all of those who have set themselves the goal of passing their driving test in 2021 the best of luck. Whether that is starting lessons, or those hoping to pass their test as soon as possible.”

Learner student driving car with instructor