Young drivers priced out of the car ownership market as insurance and driving lesson costs soar Go compare with our comparison table

Young drivers priced out of the car ownership market as insurance and driving lesson costs soar

08 October 2014 / by Isabel Buxton

A recently-published National Travel Survey from the Department for Transport has indicated that the number of young people holding a full driving licence has experienced a sharp decline over the past few decades. The survey, which was carried out in 2013 with results released this year, showed that full licence ownership stood at 31% among 17 to 20 year olds in 2013. This represents a major drop from 1995, when data indicated that 43% of 17 to 20 years olds held full licences at that point in time.

Economic downturn hit would-be motorists hard

Young men have shown the greatest drop in full licence ownership – over half of 17 to 20 year old males held a full driving licence in 1995, while just 30% do so today. This could be a consequence of the perception that car insurance is prohibitively expensive for young men, who may feel that it’s not financially worthwhile to get a driving licence when car ownership may prove expensive until they reach a certain age. While this is due to young males statistically being the most likely drivers to have an accident, it means that the high premiums charged by many insurers to forestall this are beyond the reach of many would-be young drivers.

However, it’s not just the boys who are missing out on licences – the number of young female drivers also dropped between 1995 and 2013, from 36% to 31%. So why are young people more reluctant to obtain their driving licences? Stephen Galister, of the RAC Foundation, believes it’s largely down to cost – not just of insurance but also of learning to drive in the first place. “Younger people were hit disproportionately hard by the downturn,” he comments, which has lead many young people to find the cost of running a car too high. Even before a young driver gets their licence, the learning process can prove expensive. Individual driving lessons cost around £25 an hour, and many learner drivers require substantial lessons before they are ready to attempt a driving test. The test itself is costly too, priced at around £75 – and that’s if you pass it first time. Add on a theory test at £31 and the costs start to mount up.

The cost of getting behind the wheel

The RAC Foundation’s UK Cost of Motoring Index provides a clear indicator as to why young people might be reluctant to commit financially to driving. Even if we ignore the cost of learning to drive and of buying a first car, the cost of keeping a car on the road today is vastly higher than it was in 1995. According to the RAC Foundation, the cost of living according the Retail Price Index (RPI) has increased by over 75% since 1995. While this seems a large increase, it pales in comparison with the huge increase in motoring costs since that time. The cost of maintaining a car in a roadworthy condition has gone up by 140%, while oil and fuel costs are nearly 150% higher. However, the real culprit may be the cost of tax and insurance costs, which has shot up by 170% since 1995 – over twice the rate of inflation.

Get on the road for less

It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that young drivers (and their parents) are apprehensive about the costs involved in car ownership. One of the best places to start cutting this cost is with cheap learner and young driver car insurance – and Fair Investment Company can help you to find the cheapest deals. Use the table below to compare some of the best car insurance offers available for young drivers:

Young Driver Car Insurance Quotes
ProviderCover TermMinimum and Maximum AgeSpecial FeaturesGet Quotes
1 - 90 days17 - 22Instant Car Insurance For Learner Drivers. Cover for Learner Drivers up to 90 days. Insurance documents immediately issued.Get Quotes >
12 Months17 to 25Great deals for young and learner drivers - Quotes from specialist brokers to help you find the cheapest dealGet Quotes >
12 Months17 to 25Compare UK Specialist Young Driver Car InsurersGet Quotes >
7 days - 5 months17 - 40Immediate online policy for provisional license holders. Get FREE L-plates and Theory Test practice DVD when you take out a policy using code ‘FREEPLATE14’Get Quotes >
12 Months17 - 25Under 21? Get 25% upfront discount. If you're 21-25, you’ll get at least 15% off. DrivePlus telematics insurance – also known as black box car insurance. The safer you are, the less you should pay. DrivePlus is for cars built in 1996 or later.Get Quotes >
12 Months17 - 25Ingenie fit a black box in your car to assess your driving style. Your policy will be reviewed 3 times a year - 7 out of 10 customers earn a discount just for driving well. On average, insurance drops by 45% after one year - that works out at around £700 cheaperGet Quotes >
30 to 90 days with the option to renew at any timeFrom age 17Cover from £2.12 per day. Practise in a friend's or family car, protect the owner's No Claims Bonus, instant comprehensive coverGet Quotes >
12 Months17 - 24Save £100's on your car insurance. No curfews, clever black box technology helping you become a lower risk driver, earn your own No Claims DiscountGet Quotes >