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Papa don’t teach…but please pay for my first car

Almost half of learner drivers (49%) took lessons with a parent or family member

  • Learner drivers were yelled at repeatedly (15%) by their parents, one in 10 (10%) parents grabbed the wheel and one in 20 (5%) said they almost had an accident driving with mum or dad
  • One in seven (15%) described the process of being taught by a parent as scary
  • The average cost of ‘getting on the road’ for learner drivers is now £774* - and Brits spend, on average, £2,907 on their first car and £112 a month on insurance
  • Almost a quarter (24%) of drivers were bought their first car by their parents while one in seven (15%) had their insurance funded by their folks too

Learning to drive isn’t always a straight path – and new research from Carfused.com has found that while getting on the road comes with a financial price-tag, it can also come with an emotional cost too.

The new study by the one stop shop for car buying and selling needs reveals that almost half of learner drivers (49%) opted to take driving lessons with a parent or family member. Though these lessons might have been free, learners paid in increased stress levels as one in seven (15%) say they were yelled at repeatedly.

The combination of an inexperienced driver and an over-bearing parent can be an interesting mix with stressful and potentially dangerous consequences. In fact, it lead to one in 10 (10%) parents grabbing the wheel during lessons and one in 20 (5%) learners say they almost had an accident.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, more than two thirds described the experience as too stressful and one in seven (15%) say they found the process scary. A similar number (15%) described learning with a parent as ‘annoying’. And while the learners take the brunt of the stress, almost a quarter (24%) admit that it was a nerve-wracking experience for their parents.

To test this out, Carfused.com set out to monitor the stress levels of a father and daughter as they set out on driving practice. Georgia (17) and her father Kenneth took the road in a vehicle with special cameras installed to film the whole process – so no angry look or yell went unseen. (Watch the full video here)

And it’s not just the emotional stress that learners are sharing with their parents with nearly a quarter of drivers (23%) saying their first driving lessons were bought for them as a gift by their parents. A lucky one in five (20%) say their parents funded every single lesson they took with an instructor. With the cost of learning to drive so high, it’s no wonder that parents are stepping in to help.

Cost breakdown of learning to drive

Item

Cost

Purchase of Provisional Driving Licence

£43.00

22 driving lessons costing, on average, £25.50*

£561.00

Two theory tests at cost of £23 each

£46.00

Two practical tests at cost of £62 each

£124.00

Total cost

£774.00

The research from Carfused.com has found that the average motorist on Britain’s roads will take 22 lessons before they pass their test at the age of 22 – with the cost of a lesson averaging £25.50**. Amazingly, one in 20 Brits (5%) say they took 51 lessons or more before they passed their driving test – a staggering cost of £1301 or more on lessons alone.

And it's not just the price of lessons that are leaving a dent in people's pockets – the cost of theory and the practical tests can also mount up. According to the findings, the average British motorist had to take two theory tests– costing £23 each – while they also took two practical driving tests at a cost of £62 each. More than one in 20 (6%) motorists say it took them five practical tests to get on the road – a staggering cost of £310 on practical driving tests alone.

It’s not just the lessons that can be funded by a parent – nearly a quarter (24%) of Brit drivers say their parents paid for their theory tests and more (27%) paid for their practical tests too.

Even when the lessons and tests end, the costs don’t stop mounting up. The average cost of a first car in Britain is £2,907*** while more than one in five (21%) spent more than £5,000 on their first car. For nearly a quarter (24%) lucky motorists, the Bank of Mum and Dad purchased their first car for them.

More than one in 10 (11%) British motorists, say that after passing their test they could afford a car but they couldn’t afford an insurance policy to cover them on that vehicle. The average price paid for a car insurance policy for newly qualified British motorists is £112**** – with one in 10 (10%) paying £251 or more for their policy.

Of those Brits who were lucky enough to have a car to hit the open road with, the majority of first cars were used (86%) with just over one in 20 (6%) being lucky enough to buy a new car outright.

With Christmas coming up, many parents might be thinking about buying a car for their newly-passed children. By using a site like Carfused.com, consumers can browse a huge variety of new and used cars – and by using the Carculator on site, they can get an accurate overview of the associated costs of running that car. From insurance all the way to potential finance deals, consumers get an exact picture of how much their new car will cost them.

Kate Rose, spokesperson for Carfused.com, says:

“Learning to drive is seen as a rite of passage for many but it isn’t always a straight road. From those tentative first moments behind a wheel to the test itself, it’s a nerve-wracking experience for all. And for some, they decide to take it a new level by learning with a parent or a family member. Perhaps it’s no surprise that these drivers describe this experience as too stressful or scary.

 

“The research by Carfused.com shows just how much it costs to get on the road in Britain. And when the lessons and tests end, the cost of a car and insurance can cause new drivers a bit of a scare. Using websites like Carfused.com is a great way of seeing the true cost of a car – from the car itself through to running costs and insurance. This means drivers get a true picture on the cost of running any car they might be interested in buying.”

Learner driver fact file:

  • The average age of passing driving test is 22 years old
  • 27% of parents paid for the provisional driving application
  • The average of 22 driving lessons before passing the driving test
  • Each driving lesson cost an average of £25.50**
  • 1 in 5 (20%) learner drivers had all of their driving lessons funded by their parents
  • It took people on average 1.62 times to pass their theory test. Almost 4 out of 10 people (38%) passed first time.
  • It took, on average 8 months, from learning to drive before people passed their test
  • 86% bought a used car.
  • The average cost of a first car is £2,907***
  • The average monthly cost of a first car insurance policy is £112****
  • One in 10 (10%) paid £251 a month or more.

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors:

Unless otherwise stated, all figures taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll on behalf of Carfused. This was an online poll of 2,000 UK motorists with a full driving licence and who own their own car. The research was conducted between 22nd October and 26th October 2015.

*Using Carfused.com One Poll data. Total cost is made up of the cumulative costs of:

Purchase of provisional driving licence (£43)

22 driving lessons at average cost of £22.50 each (£264)

Two theory tests at cost of £23 each (£46)

Two practical tests at cost of £62 each (£124)

 

**Lesson cost based on cost of one hour with Bill Plant Driving School http://www.billplant.co.uk/driving_lesson_prices.php

 

*** Stats taking from Carfused.com OnePoll research based on respondents who have bought their first car in the last five years (2010-2015).

 

**** Stats taking from Carfused.com OnePoll research based on respondents who have purchased their first insurance policy in the last five years (2010-2015).

 

Media information

For more information, please contact Carfused press office pressteam@carfused.com

 

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