Young drivers’ car running costs have gone through the roof in the past six months, according to research published this week. A study by price comparison site CompareTheMarket.com found annual running costs for drivers aged 17 to 24 have risen by an average of more than £160 as fuel and insurance prices rise.
On average, CompareTheMarket.com says drivers between 17 and 24 years old will pay £2,229 per year to run their vehicle – the highest figure since 2020. Although costs fell during the coronavirus pandemic, the price comparison site says recent increases in insurance premiums and the price of fuel have cancelled out any savings made during the pandemic.
Typically, the company says the annual fuel cost for a young driver has risen by £63 in the past six months, up from £745 to £818. That came as the average cost of a litre of unleaded petrol rose from £1.32 in July 2021 to £1.44 in January 2022.
However, it seems insurance prices are also pushing up the cost of motoring, with the research suggesting insurance now makes up 52 percent of a young driver’s costs. The study found the average annual insurance premium for drivers aged 17-24 now stands at £1,154, which is up £92 (or nine percent) compared with the first half of 2021.
Such high running costs come alongside the continuing cost-of-living crisis, which is putting people of all ages under increased financial strain. The latest Household Financial Confidence Tracker from CompareTheMarket.com shows a hike in the energy price cap of £693, due in April 2022, is set to push more than 28 percent of young people into debt.
Nevertheless, the company claims drivers can reduce their running costs somewhat by shopping around for cheaper insurance deals. According to the website, the average cheapest premium for 17-24-year-old drivers costs £925 – £229 lower than the average young driver is paying.
“Young people will be concerned the cost of driving has risen so dramatically, adding to the financial pressure many are under,” said Alex Hasty, director at CompareTheMarket.com. “Both insurance and fuel costs have jumped significantly over the last six months, meaning that even if people save the money to buy a car, it will be a significant challenge to afford the ongoing running costs. However, our figures show there are still substantial savings to be had by shopping around. Young motorists can typically save more than £200 by searching for the best deal when their policy ends.”