My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

The Staggering Costs Facing Young Drivers

One of the biggest financial costs to young people is the price of getting out on the roads, and new research suggests that, even though numbers are falling, the costs of first year driving still remain staggeringly high.

According to Compare the Market’s 2019 Young Driver’s Index, the average 17-24-year-old driver will spend £2,292 on their yearly running costs, a £150 (6%) drop from six months previous. Whilst a welcome reprise from rising driver costs of recent years, young drivers will hope current patterns continue in what can be a fluctuating market, particularly to a few of the key cost areas.

The Insurance Burden

Unsurprisingly, insurance premiums are the most significant outlay for the 17-24-year-old bracket, with yearly coverage sitting at an average of £1,281; a figure that represents over 55% of total annual expenditure. The good news for young drivers is that insurance figures are dropping, with a 3.3% decrease in cost over the last 6 months.

Furthermore, changes in the market mean providers are offering more competitive rates, and by simply shopping around, young drivers who have done their research have seen their average sink further to £1,018. Such potential decreases have played their part in the overall reduction in net yearly spend.

Fuel Costs

Interestingly, despite being by far the largest cost, insurance reductions don’t represent the largest saving area for new drivers. Fuel costs, the second biggest contributor to yearly spend, take that mantle, having dropped notably from £891 to £785 on the year. This is thanks primarily to the wider reduction in UK fuel costs after years of fluctuation, with spend peaking at the £891 mark in early 2018.

The recent 11.9% drop is encouraging news for young drivers, however the inconsistencies in the fuel market mean the reductions may not be a permanent fixture.

Tax, MOT & Repairs

While insurance and fuel combine to account for the vast majority (90%) of yearly expenditure for young drivers, there are a number of other necessary spends to consider.

The road tax average sits at £126 for young drivers, perhaps in part down the higher tax brackets enforced on cars made from 2017 onwards. MOT costs average at just under £55, whilst breakdown cover costs £45.

Of course, the driving costs mentioned here don’t take into account the purchasing of a vehicle, or any additional maintenance that’s required. That’s why, for drivers in the first year, the numbers can often spiral past £3,000 when the physical cost of the vehicle is brought into account.

When all the costs of driving are considered, there’s no surprise that young people face somewhat of a crisis in trying to get up and running on the roads.