The North East is the silver-haired centre for learner drivers in the UK, according to new figures from a leading car insurance comparison website.

Quotezone.co.uk’s data reveals almost 4% of all learner drivers would qualify for a pension, which is more than double for all other UK regions barring Scotland, which has just over 3% of its learners aged 66 or over.

And the North East’s learner drivers over 30 years of age are in no hurry to pass their test, with almost two-thirds having received their provisional licences more than five years ago and 31% for more than 10 years.

The general picture of learners being young still rings true, with 60% of learner drivers across the country being aged between 16 and 25. It is common to find learners in their 40s – 8.7% of all learners – and even their 50s – 3.8%.

The advancing years have also not held back more than 100 septuagenarians and octogenarians who retain an interest in passing their driving tests.

Quotezone.co.uk says demand for its learner premiums has rocketed 42% from 2019 to 2020.

The data was sourced from Quotezone.co.uk’s 2020 records covering a sample of 50,000 provisional drivers across the UK, with 15,000 over 30 years of age. North East learners surveyed numbered 1,790 drivers and 600 were over 30.

Greg Wilson, Quotezone.co.uk’s Founder, comments: “School leavers or young professionals often come to mind as the typical learner driver. Our findings tell a more multifaceted story though, showing many people hold back on getting their full driving licence until they’re well into their 20s and beyond.

“The North East is not unusual in having a notable number of more mature drivers looking to pass their test, but the region stands out for budding motorists being of pension age.

“There’s going to be lots of reasons why people hold off on learning to drive. Cost could be one answer, with the price of lessons and buying a car putting some provisional drivers off. But when it comes to insurance you shouldn’t have to pay over the odds even if you are a learner. I would say dust off your provisional licence and shop around for the best deal by using a comparison website to compare quotes.

“We’ve seen a big rise in learners looking into policies in 2020. Perhaps safety concerns using public transport have played a part in this surge, with many services reduced, and commuters are returning to the idea of having a car.  With lessons and tests returning and an economic bounce back looking promising, we expect more provisional licence holders to actively pursue their full licence this year.”

Quotezone.co.uk can help learner drivers find a better deal on their provisional insurance, and for anyone wanting to take a few lessons with a friend or family member there’s also the option of temporary learner insurance.