The new combined cost of a new young motorist learning to drive, buying, taxing and then insuring their first car has increased by over 20% from £5,731 in 2009.
However, although young drivers are spending more on buying their first car, the average cost of car insurance has fallen to a new average low of £1,964 in the first year.
GoCompare also warns new drivers not to pay over the odds for their provisional driving license by using an unnecessary, fee-based checking service which can triple the cost of applying.
The cost of getting on the road
|Average spent buying first car||£4,276|
|First year Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax)1||£120|
|First year insurance premium||£1,964|
|Provisional driving license (apply online)||£34|
|Driving lessons to successful test (20 lessons)||£480|
|Driving tests (theory and practical – taken on a weekdays)||£85|
|Total cost of getting on the road in 2018||£6,959|
|Young drivers, some with help from their parents, are spending on average £4,276 on their first car, a 72% increase on the cost of a first car since 2009. 28% of parents have contributed or intend to contribute towards buying their child’s first car.
• 25% of parents help with the cost of car insurance for their children
• 48% of parents think that young driver insurance premiums are a ‘rip-off’
The average cheapest car insurance premium for a 17-year-old driver has fallen by around 24% since 2009 reducing from £2,455 then to £1,964 in 2018. However, the cost of car insurance for a 17-year-old driver still constitutes over a quarter (27%) of the total ‘new driver’ bill. 24% of parents said the cost of car insurance for their child was far greater than expected and 39% said the cost of car insurance is a major concern. 11% said their child has delayed getting a first car specifically because of the cost of insurance.
The survey of 1000 parents revealed that most give their children a significant amount of financial help to get them on the road. 54% said that they have contributed to the cost of driving lessons, over a quarter (28%) have paid or intend to pay towards the cost of a first car for their child and a quarter (25%) have helped or intend to help with insurance costs. However, 12% said they haven’t given or won’t be giving their child any financial help to get them on the road.
|Licence, lessons and tests – watch out for fee-charging application services!
On average, learning to drive will set a young driver back £623 when the costs of obtaining a provisional driving license (£34), lessons and test fees are combined.
However, GoCompare researchers found several online services appearing in google searches charging new drivers up to £74 on top of the £34 fee to ‘check and manage’ their application for a provisional license.
The services usually have official sounding names – for example dvlalicenceapply, dvladocumentservice and ukdrivinglicenceservices – and charge from £75 to £108 including the £34 for the licence itself. With the application process via the Gov.uk website being very straightforward, GoCompare believe these to be opportunistic and an unnecessary extra cost.
The UK’s theory test costs £23 and the driving test costs £62 on weekdays or £75 in the evenings or at weekends, where available. GoCompare’s research revealed that young new drivers typically take 20 driving lessons before passing their test, so with driving lessons costing on average £24 per hour, the average bill for lessons alone is £480. Purchasing lesson packages in blocks of 10, 20 or even 30 hours can bring the price down.