Survey: cost of motoring forces young drivers off the road

Young driver
20 Jun, 2014 1:00pm Tom Goodlad

A new study has found that the cost of motoring is a major barrier to young people getting out on the road

A survey commissioned by price comparison site has found that over a third (35%) of young adults aged 17-25 say it is too expensive to learn to drive, own and run a car.

It has long been known that young people can struggle financially when it comes to learning to drive and running vehicle. In recent years, insurance for young drivers has risen astronomically, leading to young people not being able to own and run a car – with 32% of respondents suggesting it is cheaper to use public transport.

Increase in young drivers taking 'selfies' at the wheel

22% of non-car owners admitted to feeling trapped at home by not being able to go places. This can be especially important to young people – with passing a driving test and owning your own car being something of a rite of passage for young drivers.

For those in the position of owning their own car, the survey revealed that young drivers spend, on average, £1,831.40 per year on keeping their car on the road. Four out of five revealed they spend up to 30% of their income on running their car, with almost two-fifths (39%) spending over £2,000 a year. Add to this the average cost of £1,381 for driving lessons, licenses and fees and it becomes even more difficult.

Black box car insurance to become the norm

The survey also found that 18% of young drivers turn to their parents for help with motoring costs, while 15% have been able to obtain a full licence but can’t afford to go to the next level of owning their own vehicle. This struggle to get on the road has led to young drivers cutting corners with their insurance such as ‘fronting’ fraud – listing somebody with a better driving record as the main driver to drive down premiums.

Black box car insurance has lowered premiums

More recently, the introduction of ‘black boxes’ has decreased premiums by monitoring the way in which the individual drives. Policies can differ; with safe drivers being rewarded with lower premiums in some, and others restricting the times of day in which an individual can drive – often between 11pm and 5am. Black box insurance has become more popular with young drivers, but not everybody will be happy with having a GPS-enabled box installed in their car.

The financial implications of being a young driver and running your own car remain considerable, however, the introduction of measures to make driving and owning a car more accessible to young people can only be seen as progression. 

Is motoring too expensive for young drivers? Tell us what you think in the comments section below...