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New drivers’ first years could cost £9,000, says insurer

New drivers’ first years could cost £9,000, says insurer

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Young drivers could face bills of up to £9,000 in their first year of driving, according to Admiral Insurance.

The company’s annual Young Driver report suggests that motorists under the age of 25 will typically spend that amount in their first year, with the cost of lessons, obtaining a licence, taking a driving test and buying and insuring their first car soon stacking up.

For example, a provisional licence costs £34. Motorists should then take driving lessons – which cost an average of £24 per session. That means that if a driver takes the recommended 47 lessons, the total cost comes to over £1,100. Adding in the price of tests – £85 for both theory and practical – young motorists are looking at a £1,247 bill before they even think about their own vehicle.

This total sum makes the UK the fifth most expensive country in which to learn to drive – trailing Sweden, the USA, Germany and Hong Kong.

 Once a driver has passed their test, they need to get themselves a car. Despite Admiral’s research showing that around 12 per cent of drivers don’t get behind the wheel at all in the first year after getting their licence, plenty do – and many of them choose to finance their vehicle.

Around half of young drivers use finance deals to pay for their car. Admiral found that the most common budget is between £200 and £299 per month – but almost 24 per cent of young drivers would be willing to push that up over £500 a month to get the car they wanted.

If you assume a £2,000 deposit and £300 a month car payment, that’s a further £5,600 in one year.

Finally, there’s insurance – a real issue for most young drivers. Though premiums do decrease significantly with age, that’s not much help to a 17-year-old who wants to get out on the road. The average premium for a newly minted driver is £1,889, with men paying an average £600 more than women.

But what can a young driver do to help themselves? Well, taking a further driving course can reduce premiums – as can opting for a reduced insurance policy such as one with a blackbox.