Young drivers spend £9,000 on their first year of driving

cost of getting on the road learner drivers

The expense of getting on the road as a young driver is well known, but how much does it actually cost to pass your test, buy a car and then drive it for a year? According to Admiral, it’s as much as £9,136.

Getting your licence

Learning is a big one. You’re typically looking at £24 per hour to get behind the wheel with an instructor. Intriguingly, the UK is the fifth-cheapest country on Earth in which to learn to drive.

A provisional licence costing £34 plus 47 lessons with an instructor means you’re paying £1,247 just to get to your first test. If you pass, that’s £62 on top. If you fail, you’re in for more lessons again.

That’s not taking into account the £23 cost of a theory test. Just under half of all drivers under 25 passed first time, with it taking two attempts on average.

Insurance costs

cost of getting on the road learner drivers

This will have inspired a good few gasps over the years for young drivers. At present, the average insurance premium for a 17 year-old is a lofty £1,889.

In spite of efforts in recent years to bridge the car insurance gender gap, the gulf is still more than £600 on average. Men between 17 and 20 are paying out around £2,294, versus £1,660 for women.

Buying your first car

According to Admiral, over half of young drivers (under 25) borrow money to buy their cars, with a monthly budget of between £200 and £300. Nearly a quarter of those who borrowed money to buy cars said they’d be happy to pay more than £500 per month.

In total, with your £1,200 on learning (assuming you pass first time) added on to the £1,900 average insurance cost, you’ve got £3,100’s worth of bills before buying the car.

Couple that with a year’s worth of car payments at £300 per month, with around £2,000 as a deposit, and you’re up to £8,000 already, without any maintenance and other unexpected bills.

Getting on the road for less

cost of getting on the road learner drivers

There are plenty of ways you can get on the road for less as a young driver. An intensive one-week course can be had for comfortably less than £1,000. That’s the cost of your lessons, provisional and your test covered.

You could also fit a black box to make your insurance cheaper. And you could buy a ‘proper first car’ – i.e. a banger for a few hundred quid. Where there’s a will, there’s a way to save. 

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