A third of young adults in UK find learning to drive, car ownership too expensive

A survey commissioned by insurance price comparison website Gocompare.com shows that young people feel priced out of car ownership, or even learning how to drive. Over a third (35 per cent) of non-drivers aged between 17 and 25 responding to the survey said it is just too expensive to learn to drive or to own a car.

The Gocompare survey also showed that 32 per cent of young people believe they spend less using public transport than it would cost them to run a car, though 22 per cent admit to feeling trapped at home by not being able to get around more. The survey’s respondents also said that, on average, young drivers spend £1,831.40 a year keeping their car on the road, with four in five spending up to 30 per cent of their income on running their car.

Almost two fifths (39 per cent) of young drivers spend over £2,000 a year. And even just obtaining a full driving licence can cost around £1,381 (based on Driving Standards Agency figures showing that the average learner driver needs 47 lessons and 22 hours of private practice before they pass their test) in driving lessons, licence and test fees.

18 per cent of young drivers said they turn to their parents for help with their motoring expenses, while 15 per cent of 17 to 25 year old drivers hold a full licence but cannot afford to own a car themselves.

Gocompare.com’s chief operating officer, Lee Griffin, said: “Learning to drive and owning your own car used to be something of a rite of passage for young adults but now it seems that many are just finding it too expensive. Car insurance is one of the biggest expenses for an inexperienced driver but there are ways to try to reduce the cost as you build up a safe driver record and no claims discount.”

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