Cost of learn­ing to drive puts off teenagers

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - YOUR MONEY - Sam Mead­ows

Learner driv­ers may have to spend more than £3,300 to get on the road, ac­cord­ing to new anal­y­sis by Tele­graph Money.

While learn­ing to drive used to be a teenage rite of pas­sage, high costs mean many are wait­ing un­til they are in their 20s, or later, to get be­hind the wheel.

The av­er­age cost of an hour’s driv­ing tu­ition is £26, ac­cord­ing to the AA Driv­ing School. While there is no longer an of­fi­cial bench­mark for how many lessons most learn­ers have, most re­cently the num­ber was set at 47. This means the av­er­age learner would have to pay £1,222 for their lessons alone.

The com­bined cost of a pro­vi­sional driv­ing li­cence, a the­ory test and a prac­ti­cal test comes to £132 – and that as­sumes the learner passes both tests first time. The bulk of the cost, how­ever, will be in­sur­ing a car af­ter qual­i­fy­ing to drive.

The AA said the av­er­age in­sur­ance pol­icy for an 18 year-old would cost £2,000. But when Tele­graph Money looked for in­sur­ance for an 18-yearold man to drive a rel­a­tively cheap Hyundai i10, the cheap­est quote avail­able was £2,500.

Young driv­ers can bring costs down by in­stalling a telem­at­ics box that tracks safe driv­ing, or by be­ing a “named driver” on a par­ent’s pol­icy. Be­ing a named driver if you will be the main driver of a car is il­le­gal.

An AA spokesman said: “A much higher per­cent­age of young peo­ple now go to univer­sity and thus have pri­or­i­ties and calls on scarce fi­nan­cial re­sources other than learn­ing to drive – it is much more a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ne­ces­sity.

“More and more peo­ple will learn to drive when in their 20s af­ter grad­u­at­ing and start­ing full-time pro­fes­sional em­ploy­ment.”

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