Rising costs forcing young drivers off the road


Rising insurance costs, mounting debts and the cost of lessons are to blame for young people being priced out of driving. That’s according to research commissioned by InsuretheGap, which found that 22% of under 25s cannot afford to learn to drive.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) says that the average cost of a driving lesson in the UK is £24, and you’ll need to factor in the cost of a provisional licence (£34 if you pay online), the theory test (£23), and a practical driving test (£62 weekdays or £75 evenings, weekends and bank holidays).

Assuming you have 10 lessons, that’s a total cost of £359, before you’ve considered the cost of insurance and the actual car. Passing first time could save you time and money.

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Car insurance is a further barrier, with the average cost of a policy just under £3,900 for a 17- to 20-year-old driver. Little wonder, then, that an online petition called for car insurance for 18- to 25-year-olds to be capped at £1,200 a year.

InsuretheGap’s survey went on to say that without the support of parents or a bank loan, a quarter of young drivers would be unable to buy a car, and 24% said they would like to buy a car but would be unable to cover the running costs.

“When one in six jobs specifies that the applicant must have a driving licence, this generation are potentially being held back by their lack of wheels,” said Ben Wooltorton, director at

“The RAC Foundation analysed 847,000 job vacancies last year and found that jobs requiring a valid licence ranged from a zoo worker, a chef, sales consultant, security guard, hairdresser and even gymnastics coach, so we’re not just talking about driving jobs here”.

If you want to go out, don’t buy a car

Meanwhile, a similar study into the cost of motoring conducted by Admiral found that motorists under the age of 25 are having to fork out £3,435 a year to stay behind the wheel. This cost is broken as follows:

  • Fuel: £1,077
  • Insurance: £1,014
  • Maintenance: £558
  • Vehicle Excise Duty: £411
  • MOT costs: £375

The research claims that motoring is forcing young drivers to sacrifice social plans to stay on the road. Around two-thirds shelved plans to go shopping, while 60% decided against attending a music festival. Nearly half of under 25s were forced into abandoning holiday plans and smartphone upgrades, while 60% cancelled a romantic date.

Let’s just hope you love your car enough to forgo the opportunity for a candlelit meal with somebody you ‘met’ on Tinder.

RAC Fuel Watch

Fuel price rise a ‘perfect storm’ of Brexit and OPEC

RAC Fuel WatchA ‘perfect storm’ of a Brexit-induced plummet in the pound and a threat of oil production cuts by OPEC and Russia has led to the average price of fuel increasing 3p in just three weeks.

The average price of petrol now stands at 116p, says the RAC – a huge contrast to just eight months ago, where petrol was around 102p a litre.

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Fuel prices falling after 4 months of hikes

Is this as good as it gets for cheap fuel prices?

The days of £1 a litre prices, last experienced around Christmas 2015, are now but a memory, says the firm’s fuel price consumer champion, RAC Fuel Watch.

Spokesman Simon Williams told Motoring Research there’s a threat of further fuel prices too, as the 14 oil-producing countries that make up OPEC are due to meet on November 30th, where they could possibly agree on a cut in oil production.

“Even the threat of a cut has been enough to push up prices,” said Williams. “We can expect further increases in the cost of a barrel of oil if OPEC actually does agree to cut oil production.

“It’s possible Russia will agree to a cut in production as well,” he added – Williams also revealed that the UK imports 40% of the diesel sold here, and it comes mainly from… Russia.

‘Flash crash’

The biggest factor in recent price rises has, however, been the ‘flash crash’ in the value of the pound on 7 October. As fuel is traded in US dollars, it’s this that has hiked up forecourt prices by so much recently.

The last time prices rose this quickly was at the start of 2011, revealed Williams. “Less than four months later, the then Chancellor George Osborne took the step of cutting fuel duty by 1p to 57.95p.”

These days, fuel is around 20p a litre cheaper than it was back then, but the outlook still looks rather ominous, said Williams.

“If the Chancellor has been tempted to raise duty in next month’s Autumn Statement as a result of recent lower fuel prices, the current uncertainty should make him think again.”