Drivers in the UK are going to extraordinary lengths to avoid basic driving manoeuvres which learners are required to carry out in order to pass their driving tests, according to new research.

The survey of 1,011 motorists, carried out by Vantage-leasing.com, revealed that more than half (68%) of drivers will actively avoid parallel parking, and instead look for alternative parking spaces to avoid doing so. Many are even being willing to park in a space that would add 3.6 minutes onto their journey, on average.

Parallel parking was also revealed to be the most difficult driving manoeuvre, with 76% of the votes.

Top five most difficult manoeuvres

  1. Parallel parking – 76%
  2. Turn in the road – 63%
  3. Reversing around a corner – 61%
  4. Bay parking – 55%
  5. Emergency stop – 35%

“It’s quite interesting to see how many drivers in the UK are not confident carrying out the manoeuvres that many will have been taught and tested on when learning to drive,” said James Buttrick of Vantage-leasing.com.

“Motorists should take the time to make themselves more familiar with the manoeuvres they are not confident in completing – whether that be practising on a quiet road or car park, or even taking refresher driving lessons with a driving instructor, to recap on technique.

“It’s the responsibility of drivers to ensure that they are confident in every aspect of driving for the obvious safety reasons. Many will also enjoy the added benefit of being able to park in smaller spaces which can save them a few minutes’ walk every day.”

The research also revealed that men aged 18-24 are the self-confessed worst parallel parkers, with 72% admitting that they avoid the manoeuvre.

Meanwhile, Plymouth is the home to the UK’s best parallel parkers, with just 48% saying they would avoid the manoeuvre, followed by motorists in Manchester (53%).

Read more from Gareth Herincx