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Afraid of parking? You’re not alone

Parking can spark fear in even the most confident driver so it’s no surprise 6.9 million Brits believe they would fail their driving test if they had to take it again.

A survey by young person driving school Young Driver found that one in five qualified drivers doubt their current driving skills would get them past an examiner, rising to 24 per cent for those aged over 65.

28 per cent of respondents said they struggle to parallel park, while 25 per cent actively avoid the challenge of reversing into a parking bay. Female drivers were found to be especially nervous, with 36 per cent admitting an issue with the latter manoeuvre.

Drivers dislike parking to the point where 26 per cent park ‘some distance’ from where they need to be in an attempt to find an ‘easier’ space. In fact, one in six felt nervous when parking, rising to 26 per cent for those aged 18 to 25.

Three-point turns are another major turn-off for British motorists, with 16 per cent admitting they struggle to make a turn in the road without undertaking more manoeuvres than necessary.

The survey found those in Glasgow had more trouble parking than any other city, at 35 per cent of respondents, while those in Birmingham are more likely to have difficulty with parallel parking, at 44 per cent. Those from Bristol most struggle with a turn in the road.

Meanwhile 34 per cent of Newcastle residents are likely to park further away to find an easy spot get into – higher than anywhere else in the UK.

Geordies are actually the most nervous parkers in general, with 27 per cent admitting it concerns them, and a whopping thirty per cent didn’t think they would pass their test again, compared with the nine per cent in Edinburgh and 10 per cent in Birmingham.

Speaking of Edinburgh, the results showed Scots from this area are the most practiced at an emergency stop, thanks to just 24 per cent saying it was something they ‘rarely do’.

Head of Young Driver, Kim Stanton, said: “When you learn to drive you are taught specific techniques to help you get your parking and reversing spot on, every time. But once you pass your test, unless you continue to use these techniques, the skills can quickly fade.

“Our new research shows that before long, many drivers are actively avoiding having to try, even if it means parking a long way from their destination and walking the rest of the way to avoid certain parking spaces!”

Young Driver – the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving lessons – has released free how-to videos that tackle some of the less fun driving exercises such as reversing around a corner, three-point turns and reverse parking that may be useful for new and old drivers, alike.

The 6.9 million figure is derived from the UK’s total number of people with a driving licence, which is 38,163,104, according to DVLA figures.

Check out our guide to the new 10-minute parking grace period guide.


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