Learner drivers at risk of losing their licences this Christmas

14 December 2015

Research has revealed that 17% of learner drivers have acted as ‘designated drivers’ over the festive period and been relied upon to drive people home after a Christmas night out.

However, the Co-op Insurance is urging people rethink their ‘designated driver’ plans and to leave learners drivers out of the selection process.

The law states that learner drivers should be ‘supervised’ when they are driving with family or friends*. People supervising learner drivers have to adhere to road laws as if they were driving so, for example, you cannot exceed legal drink drive limits.

However, nearly half of the drivers questioned who have been festive learner ‘designated drivers’ didn’t believe that their passengers would have been in any fit state to help them out if they would have become confused or needed to ask a question about their driving. This led to these inexperienced drivers feeling anxious (28%) and worried (21%).

The Government’s website warns learner drivers ‘You can be fined up to £1,000 and get up to 6 penalty points on your provisional licence if you drive without the right supervision.’

Nick Ansley, Head of Motor Insurance at the Co-op, said:

“The law is clear in that learner drivers have to be supervised when they take to the roads.

“Anyone who asks a learner driver to take them home after a festive get together where the other passengers are all under the influence of alcohol are putting these learners in an unfair situation.

“For the cost of a taxi fare, learner drivers are being put at risk of a driving prosecution and their licences being revoked, all before they’ve even taken to ‘L’ plates off the car.

“If you plan to have a drink, order a taxi or walk home, don’t drink and drive and don’t expect learners to take you.”


Where are most learner drivers ferrying festive partygoers home?

Rank Region % learners asked to drive people home
1 Northern Ireland 28%
2 London 21
3 South East 20%
4 North East 19%
-5 West Midlands 16%
-5 Yorkshire 16%
-5 North West 16%
6 Scotland 15%
7 Wales 14%
8 East Midlands 13%
9 South West 11%
10 East Anglia 10%


Notes to Editors:

Research conducted with 72 point, 2,000 drivers

For further information please contact:

Jenna Moss
Press & Media Relations Manager – The Co-operative Group
Tel: 0161 767 4354/07770 441 828
Email: jenna.moss@co-operative.coop


About The Co-operative Insurance

The Co-operative Insurance is a UK-based General Insurer that operates principally within the personal lines segments of the Motor and Home Insurance markets. The Co-operative Insurance underwrites the majority of business written, supplemented with some small lines of business where The Co-operative Insurance acts as a distributor or has a 100% reinsurance arrangement in place.
The Co-operative Insurance, a core business within The Co-operative Group, also offers commercial insurance arranged and administered by Aviva Insurance Limited and pet insurance provided, underwritten and administered by Allianz Insurance plc.
With more than 1.18m customers, The Co-operative Insurance is committed to ‘Doing the Right thing’ and always strives to treat customers and members fairly. The Co-operative Insurance pioneered the way in lowering the insurance premiums of Young Drivers as the first major insurer to launch a pay how you drive telematics insurance product for young drivers in 2011. Since launching the scheme, The Co-operative Insurance has saved its young drivers more than £7.2 million in their first year of driving.