Frequently Asked Questions
UPDATE ON COVID19
For general advice on the COVID-19 / Coronavirus outbreak, please click here.
In all circumstances, public and individual health and safety takes priority. Please continue to follow official Government advice at all times.
The Driver2020 research study is continuing as normal as all surveys and interviews are carried out either online or via the telephone. If you are currently a participant in Driver2020, please continue to fill in these surveys when requested.
Theory tests, practical tests and driving lessons have all been suspended at various times during 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and associated regional and national lockdowns; this may have affected your learning-to-drive process. If you are a learner, it may take you longer to pass your test; this may mean that the study finishes before you are able to complete some or all of the surveys (which are sent when you pass your test and then 3, 6 and 12 months later). If this is the case, you will not be able to receive the £5 vouchers associated with each survey but you will still be able to enter the prize draw. If you have already passed your test, you may still be driving less than expected. Don’t worry about this – please continue to complete surveys as requested and follow Government advice.
The study is currently due to end in December 2022; this is later than previously advertised due to the pandemic and associated impacts.
What is the research about?
This research is looking at different ways to make young drivers safer, more confident and more skilful in their first year of driving – a period we know from previous research to be one that new drivers find challenging. We want to understand how young drivers experience different driver training approaches and the effect they have on their driving. The results from the research will shape how young drivers learn to drive before and after the driving test. The research is the largest trial of its kind anywhere in the world.
How do I register to take part?
We are no longer recruiting learner drivers or newly-qualified drivers into the research. Registration of new learners closed in early March 2020 and registration of newly-qualified drivers closed in December 2020.
Who can take part?
This research involves both learner drivers – people who have recently started learning to drive (or are about to) and newly-qualified drivers – people who have passed their test in the last four weeks.
However, we are no longer recruiting learner drivers or newly-qualified drivers into the research. Registration of new learners closed in early March 2020 and registration of newly-qualified drivers closed in December 2020.
How many people are taking part?
Over 28,000 people are taking part in the research – it is one of the most exciting and largest studies of learner and novice drivers in the world.
Is taking part mandatory?
Participation is completely voluntary. We have designed the research to be as easy and convenient as possible, but you are free to withdraw from the research at any time. If you have any questions or concerns after you have registered or during the research you can email us at email@example.com, if these FAQs do not provide an answer.
What am I agreeing to if I decide to take part?
You are signing up for the chance to take part in one of a range of additional driver training approaches, for free. This could include skills training, e-learning, or using a mobile phone app to help you with practice over your learning to drive period, or during your first year of driving (depending on whether you are signing up as a learner or a newly qualified driver). They do not replace driving lessons, but could enhance your skills as a driver. You will also be asked to complete four short surveys during your first year of driving for each of which you will receive a £5 retail voucher (see FAQ on Rewards). If you complete the final survey (12 months after passing your driving test) you will be given the opportunity to enter a prize draw to have a chance to win a year’s free car insurance or other prizes (prize draw terms and conditions HERE).
How much time will I need to commit if I take part?
This will depend on the group you are allocated to, but none of the free training or education interventions will take longer than eight hours of your time in total across the entire project and most take considerably less than this. The four surveys should take no more than 10 minutes each to complete.
Is this going to cost me any money (beyond what I am paying to learn to drive)?
You are not expected to pay for any of the training that you receive – you will be receiving it for free. Usually, people would pay for access to interventions such as the ones being tested. (If you are a learner, any training is in addition to your usual driving lessons which are separate and which you will still need to pay for yourself). In some cases, you might need to travel to and from the location where the training is taking place, but you would be told about this in advance. You might also need to download an app or use a computer to access e-learning or web-based resources, but this is free.
If I registered as a learner, will taking part affect my driving licence in any way?
No. Taking part in the research will not affect the process of getting your licence in any way. You can sign up for and take your theory test and driving test in the normal way.
If I registered as a learner, will I still need to pay for driving lessons?
Yes, any training you receive as part of the research is additional to driving lessons and will not replace the lessons you have with your approved driving instructor.
If I registered as a newly-qualified driver, will taking part affect my insurance in any way?
No. Taking part in the trial should not impact on your insurance policy at all.
I am registered as disabled, can I still take part?
Yes. Our research partners have designed the driver training and education approaches to be accessible, and the surveys can be completed in a variety of ways. If you would like to discuss any specific queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I need my own car?
If you registered as a learner, you do not need your own car before you pass your test. After you pass – or if you registered as a newly-qualified driver – you would need some access to a vehicle but it does not have to be your own. It could be a family member’s car and the access can be only occasional.
What if I change my car during the research?
You can change your vehicle as often as you like. It will not have any impact on the research.
When does it start?
We are no longer recruiting learner drivers or newly-qualified drivers for the research.
We accepted registrations from newly-qualified drivers from October 2019 to December 2020. We accepted registrations from learner drivers from January 2019 until early March 2020.
What will I get for taking part in the research? When and how will I get it?
You will be given a £5 retail voucher (or if you prefer a £5 charity donation) for each of the four main surveys you complete. One of these surveys is at test pass, and then another 3, 6 and 12 months after you pass your test. Vouchers will be emailed to you after you complete each survey. After the final survey you will be given the opportunity to enter into a prize draw with four top prizes of a year’s free car insurance and several other smaller prizes (iPads, and additional vouchers). The prize draw will take place after the Driver2020 research is completed. The prize draw terms and conditions are HERE.
What if I haven’t received my voucher for completing a survey?
Vouchers for completing surveys will be emailed to you, so make sure that we have your correct email address at all times. If you need to change the email address we hold on file, you should tell us HERE. Also, make sure you check your email spam folder as sometimes voucher emails can end up there. If you have not received your voucher for a survey within two weeks of completing it, please contact email@example.com
During the research
What sort of driver training or education am I likely to be involved in?
There are several types being trialled, including e-learning, classroom-based education, and app-based approaches. Everyone who takes part will be allocated to one of these groups (or to a ‘control group’ who receive no additional training or education). All groups get to complete the surveys throughout the project.
How will my group be decided?
We will randomly allocate registered participants to a group.
Can I choose which type of training to take part in?
No. The process of allocation is random and once you have been allocated to a group you cannot switch. However remember that your involvement with the training and education, and the trial itself, is voluntary. It is up to you how much you get involved. No matter which group you are in, you will always be able to complete the four surveys (for a £5 incentive each time – see FAQs on Rewards).
Will my driving instructor know about this?
Not necessarily, and it is up to you whether or not you get them involved. It may be useful for some of the training and education to have your instructor involved, but it is up to you.
What happens if I don’t pass my driving test first time?
This is ok. You can remain in the research, which is running for over two years, which should allow most people plenty of time to learn how to drive, pass their test (after however many attempts they need) and then drive post-test for 12 months. It is possible of course that when the project ends you will not have had the opportunity to complete all the surveys. If this is the case, as per the prize draw terms and conditions HERE, you can still enter into the prize draw when it becomes available.
What if I’ve passed my test?
If you registered as a learner driver then you don’t need to do anything, you will automatically receive the first survey soon after you have passed your test.
We are no longer accepting new registrations from newly-qualified drivers or learner drivers.
What if I want to pull out of the research? How do I do that?
If you do not want to continue with your participation you are free to leave at any time. Please click HERE to update our records. You will then stop receiving information relating to the project. You will still receive any rewards for any surveys you have completed up to that point.
What if my personal or contact details change during the project?
If any of your details change, please click HERE to update our records.
How will you communicate with me?
Normally we will communicate with you by email. Occasionally we will send you SMS messages to remind you about upcoming surveys, or we may phone you. You won’t receive any spam. Please see the link HERE or at the top of the Driver2020 homepage for more detail on how we will use your personal data.
How do I contact you?
If you have any queries that are not answered in the FAQs, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will aim to respond within 48 hours, although note that we cannot guarantee this. In almost all cases we expect the FAQs here will cover any questions asked.
What happens if I have an accident during the research?
If you are involved in any accidents during the research, the first thing to note is that you should follow safety advice from your insurance company (or instructor, if you are a learner), and if necessary, the police and other emergency services. If anyone is injured in the accident you should report it to the police, however minor the injury is. With regards to the research you will be able to tell us in one of the surveys we send you (3, 6 and 12 months after passing your driving test). You can also tell us about any accidents separately HERE. This survey is for you to use if you like (for example so that you don’t forget details) but you do not need to – if you prefer you can wait until we send you one of the 3/6/12 month surveys (for which you get paid).
What happens if my licence is revoked during the research, or if I get points?
To sign up to take part you will need a valid licence – either a provisional or a full licence. As a new driver you will lose your licence if you accrue more than six points in your first two years of driving. If this happens during the research, or you receive another type of driving ban:
- you must not drive until your licence is reinstated by DVLA
- please contact us, by emailing email@example.com
If you receive penalty points but still have your licence you can continue to respond to the surveys as normal and receive the rewards.
Can I still take part in other forms of driver training while I am involved in the research?
Yes. This research is running independently of other driver training programmes. We might ask you to tell us about this as part of the surveys that we send you.
What about my personal data?
Under data protection law we need to advise you of what personal data we will collect, why we need it, what we will do with it, and your individual rights. See HERE for full information about how we will use these data.
In summary: : 1. TRL is running the Driver2020 research project on behalf of the Department for Transport. 2. The personal data TRL will collect if you sign up will include your name, email address, driver number, phone number and postcode. 3. TRL will only share these data with project partners for the purpose of communicating with you about the research (for example telling you when there is a survey to complete, sending you incentives) and communicating with you about any interventions you get to take part in. 4. Your personal data will be kept secure, and will not be published.
At the end of the research
What happens when the research is finished?
The results of the research will be published, and will help to inform young and novice driver training for years to come.
Will I be able to see the results of the research?
At the end of the research we will produce a summary of the results and main report. We will let all participants know where to access this information if they wish.
Research funding and management
Who is funding the research?
The research is being funded by the UK government, as part of work to improve road safety.
Who is running this research?
The research is being run by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). TRL is an independent transport research organisation with decades of experience in researching drivers and other road users. TRL previously conducted research that resulted in changes to the driving test that came into effect in December 2017.