A new report reveals that newly qualified motorists are having to rely on their parents’ deep(ish) pockets more than ever to cover the cost of their motoring.
According to Compare the Market, over half (52%) of 17-24 year olds turned to their parents to cough up cash to stay on the road over the past 12 months. Parents are spending on average £762 per child – spread that across the UK and you’re looking at an eye-watering £2 billion a year being drained from the bank of mum and dad.
The problem is costs for young drivers are escalating so parents are increasingly finding themselves digging deeper into their bank accounts to help keep their offspring on the road. On average, parents are contributing £288 a year towards insurance, £178 on repairs, £125 on taxes and £169 on petrol.
As well as these everyday costs, parents are also helping their kids buy their first cars, contributing £2,021 on average while nearly a third said they paid all or some of the costs toted up by their children in their first year of driving. One in ten parents admit that they continue helping out for the first three years.
But who can blame them? After all, as of July 2018, 17-24 year old drivers are paying an average insurance premium of £1,309 a year; that’s £600 more than the national average. To make matters worse, the Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is adding £161 to that premium. Some experts say that all in, it can cost a young driver up to £2,400 a year to insure and run their motors for the first year.
With the odds so heavily stacked against young motorists, the fear is that one day soon even parents will end up baulking at the idea of paying out more as motoring becomes unaffordable for their kids, which is terrible news for those who rely on their cars to get to school, uni or work.
Drive down motoring costs
If you’re worried about covering the expense of owning a car, use these quick tips to give yourself (and your parents’) bank account some blessed relief:
• Sign up with an insurer who offers a telematics-based insurance scheme; this will see a black box installed in your car that will monitor your driving and if you behave yourself, could see up to £380 taken off your annual insurance bill.
• Buy a car with a one-litre engine only and get a motor that is known for its reliability (hello Honda and Toyota!) – check out What Car? magazine’s latest list of the UK’s most reliable cars. Pick the right one and you won’t have to worry about expensive repair/maintenance costs.
• Consider taking out pay-as-you-go car insurance that will work out cheaper if you don’t do many miles each year.
• Check for the best insurance deals every time your insurance comes up for renewal; remember, insurance companies aren’t known for their customer loyalty so don’t show them any either.
• Get a parent added to your insurance policy; this should bring down the cost but never list the parent as the main driver if they are not; you could end up in court for insurance fraud.