The cost of motoring for young drivers has risen to more than £2,400 a year, thanks to rising insurance and fuel prices.
That’s the conclusion of new research from price comparison site CompareTheMarket.com, which has found that the annual cost of running a car as a young driver has risen £60 in the past six months.
According to the website, the average 17-24-year-old driver is now paying £2,442 for their first year of car ownership – up from £2,381 in February.
And over a two-year period, the cost of running a car has risen by £140.
CompareTheMarket’s research showed that rising fuel prices were largely to blame for the cost increases, with the average youngster’s annual fuel spend totalling £891 – more than one-third of the total expense.
The combined cost of road tax, MOT tests and breakdown cover, meanwhile, account for less than 10 percent of the annual cost, despite totalling more than £220 for the average driver.
But by far the largest expense for young drivers is insurance. Despite a slight reduction in premiums of late, the average first-year policy now costs £1,324.
Perhaps that’s not surprising, given that young drivers fall into one of the highest-risk categories for insurance, but it seems that they don’t always help themselves with their choice of vehicle.
According to CompareTheMarket.com, the most popular car for young drivers is the Vauxhall Corsa, which accounts for more than 12 percent of the firm’s enquiries. With an average policy cost of £1,326, though, it’s almost £450 more expensive to insure than the cheapest model available.
That honour falls to Dacia’s cheap-as-chips Sandero supermini, which comes with an average annual insurance premium of £882.
Other popular models for young drivers included the Ford Fiesta, which has an average insurance cost of £1,273, and the Volkswagen Polo, which sets young drivers back an average of £1,241 a year.
However, two relatively inexpensive models did make it into the top 10 most popular cars. The retro Fiat 500 was the seventh most popular car, but the second cheapest to insure, with an average premium of just £899.
The only other car in the top 10 with a three-figure average insurance premium was the Ford Ka, which comes with an average policy cost of £966.
Dan Hutson, the head of motor insurance at CompareTheMarket.com described the cost of motoring for youngsters as “worryingly high”, pointing out that some are dependent on cars for commuting in areas with poor public transport links.
“Each quarter, our report shows an increase in the cost of getting on the road for 17-24-year-olds,” he said. “The price of insurance for young drivers remains awfully high and now the price of fuel is also expected to rocket. Fuel costs have always been volatile, but the significant rise in price over the past six months will have a large impact on the affordability of driving, especially for young people.
“The unaffordability of keeping a car has significant ramifications on young people’s ability to travel to work and hold down jobs, especially when a large proportion of their salary may be spent on travel alone. Not all parts of the country benefit from public transport and for those that rely on a car, these figures will be concerning.”