Learner drivers 'turning to family'

Learner drivers are turning to family and friends for lessons in a bid to save cash, a survey has revealed.

According to car insurance firm Swinton, the average number of professional lessons per driver fell from 43 in the first three months of 2008 to 32 in the same period this year.

Drivers who passed their test in March, had an average of 41 hours of paid-for tuition compared with 63 hours of teaching from relatives or friends, the survey found.

Eight out of 10 of the drivers questioned said that cutting costs was the reason why they had chosen "home tuition".

The survey showed that fathers were the most popular budget instructors (64%), with mothers second (23%), and aunts and uncles third (17%).

Steve Chelton, development manager at Swinton, said that approved driving instructors go though a number of tests to ensure they are equipped with the skills needed to teach safely.

He recommended that all learners taken professional lessons and only practise with friends or family when the instructor says they are ready.

"Following the Driving Standards Agency's recent reform of the learner driver training and testing process, it is now more important than ever to take lessons from a fully-qualified instructor," he added.

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