Payment plans - helping to reduce the cost of motoring for younger drivers

Payment plans - helping to reduce the cost of motoring for younger drivers


For many, learning to drive is a rite of passage; yet it seems that getting on the road from a young age is fast becoming an 'unaffordable luxury'. According to a recent article from This Is Money, data from the driving school RED has revealed that the number of 17 to 20 year olds taking lessons has dropped by 21% in the past nine years. It is estimated that as many as 44% of would-be motorists are over the age of 25 before they learn to drive, -with most waiting until at least 26 years of age before taking to the road.

The reason behind this decline largely comes down to a dramatic rise in the costs faced by today's young drivers. Of course, the first major outlay is the driving lessons, theory and practical tests. According to price comparison website Confused.com, before even getting to the car-buying stage, learners will spend an average of £1,320 on learning to drive, -that's assuming they pass first time!

And from here the costs continue to mount; according to This Is Money, "young drivers now have to fork out an astounding £4,750 to cover the cost of their first 12 months on the road". Unsurprisingly a large proportion of this goes on insurance, which Compare the Market prices at an average of £1,275 a year for 17 to 24-year olds - a 13% rise year-on-year. But there are also other major factors which contribute to hefty costs: tax, MOT, fuel...and of course servicing and repairs.

According to moneyadviceservice.org.uk, the average cost of a basic car service is £125, while a compulsory MOT test price sits at an average of £45. Most new drivers will look to purchase a used car in order to save money, but as recent data from an aftermarket warranty firm shows, the average cost of an unexpected repair on a used car is £603. With such figures, it's hardly surprising that increasing numbers of would-be motorists are making the decision to postpone learning to drive...they are literally being priced off the road!

There's no getting around the fact that, for new drivers, motoring is a costly experience. There are however several ways by which owning and running a car can at least be made more achievable for young people. In terms of insurance, prices will always be higher for a newly qualified driver but David Ross, New Car Editor for HonestJohn.co.uk, advises opting for a car with the lowest group one insurance rating. Furthermore, it may be worth taking an additional Pass Plus course, as many insurers offer a discount to anyone who has completed the scheme.

Where servicing and repairs are concerned, dealerships can play a role in helping young drivers become mobile at an earlier stage. Upfront payments for workshop bills can be quite the deterrent to owning a car; but by offering an interest-free finance solution, dealers can allow for far more flexibility. As payment dates for fixed instalments can be tailored to suit the individual, motorists can budget much more effectively, without the fear of hidden costs or spiralling debt.

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