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The cost of driving is pricing young people out

It used to be the case that turning 17 meant the road to freedom as you could finally get behind the wheel of your own car, but for over one in five under 25s this is no longer a financially viable option. A combination of sky high insurance premiums coupled with an increase in living and education costs are pricing young people out of learning to drive.

by Andrew Segal 23rd November 2017

The average cost of car insurance for a 17-20-year-old driver is around £1400*, rising to as much as £3878; no small amount indeed for that demographic. A recent online petition calling for car insurance for 18-25 year olds to be capped at £1200 received over 180,000 signatures.

On top of the insurance is the buying and running costs of a car, which is proving to be the final nail in the coffin for young drivers. In the Opinium survey we commissioned, 22% of under 25s said that without the bank of mum and dad or a loan they are unable to buy a car. And 24% said they would like to buy a car but are unable to cover the running costs such as insurance, road tax and fuel.

A Money Advice Trust survey from 2016 found that over a third of young people have debts of almost £3,000 and experience significant concerns about money.

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Ben Wooltorton, a Director here at InsuretheGap, says this has a knock-on effect when it comes to finding employment. “When one in six jobs specifies that the applicant must have a driving licence, this generation are potentially being held back by their lack of wheels. The RAC foundation analysed 847,000 job vacancies last year and found that jobs requiring a valid licence ranged from a zoo worker, a chef, sales consultant, security guard, hairdresser and even gymnastics coach, so we’re not just talking about driving jobs here”.

*source: MoneySaving Expert