Nearly Half Of Instructors Warn New Drivers Against P Plates Due To Worrying Abuse

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Almost half (46%) of instructors warn students against using P plates after they pass their test, according to new research.

The findings come from a report by learner driver insurance providers, Marmalade, which found that newly qualified drivers who displayed P plates faced 50% more abuse on the roads as a result.

While green P plates are displayed to alert other road users of new and sometimes inexperienced drivers who may lack confidence, more than two thirds (70%) of newly qualified drivers said they wouldn't feel comfortable putting them on their car. 

In fact, nearly half (47%) of new drivers admit one of the main reasons for not using them is to avoid being targeted by other road users. 

With one parent saying: 

"The worst tailgating my daughter experienced was after she passed her test and used P plates. It was so bad that I told her to remove them, as it was almost like a challenge for other drivers to harass."

The warning from instructors comes off the back of a petition calling on the Government to do more to prevent road users driving dangerously around learner drivers and instructors. 

Commenting on the research, Chris Lawson, Head of Insurer Relations for car insurance at Marmalade, said:

"The issue of abuse against learners and recently qualified drivers is something we take very seriously. It's concerning that green 'probationary' plates, something that exists to help new drivers feel more safe and able behind the wheel, is having the opposite effect. Instead, our report shows that P plates are actually making new drivers a magnet for abuse. While we're not suggesting that new drivers stop using P plates, these findings add more evidence to the issue of abuse towards learners." 

"To have a future of confident drivers, more needs to be done to clamp down on this bullying behaviour. The whole driving experience starts with lessons, so it's crucial to make this a positive experience from the get-go." 

As a general trend, the research also found that abuse is on the rise, with more than a quarter of learner drivers having been reduced to tears because of the actions of other drivers