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Shock costs for young drivers

Shock costs for young drivers

Ian Johnson, 2017-09-11

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MOTORING has never been cheap but figures released recently point to just how much our younger drivers are paying to stay behind the wheel.

The cost of running a car eats up 20 per cent of a young driver's annual take-home pay, according to analysis from Cuvva, the app-based pay-as-you-go car insurer.

Excluding the actual purchase price of the vehicle, the total cost of running a car for a UK driver aged 17-22 is £2,861 a year, 19.9 per cent of the annual take-home pay of £14,402 for someone in this age group.

The bulk of this figure comes from the insurance premium that young drivers are required to pay - a cost which has soared in the last year as the price of insurance has risen by 11 per cent.

In the second quarter of 2017, the cheapest comprehensive policies available to 17-22-year-old drivers cost £1,771. Young drivers must then fork out an average of £880 on petrol each year, £110 on road tax, £55 on an MOT and £45 on breakdown cover.

But young people who drive one of the ten most popular cars within the 17-24 age group, and only use their car for ten hours a month or less. could shave hundreds of pounds off their insurance bill by switching from annual cover to a pay-as-you-go scheme.

For example, Cuvva calculates that a young driver (aged 21-24) who owns a Ford Focus would save £585 a year switching from the average annual premium to its pay-as-you-go subscription service.

Naturally, the older a driver gets, the more affordable their annual insurance premium becomes. For 22-29-year-olds, the cheapest comprehensive cover available in the second quarter of the year was £924, falling to £599 for 30-39-year-olds, £536 for 40-49-year-olds and £460 for 50-59-year-olds.

Freddy Macnamara, chief executive and founder of Cuvva, said: "Government policy changes to the discount rate used to calculate personal injury claims have forced insurers to increase their premiums and young drivers are being hit particularly hard. For many, the cost of traditional annual insurance is absolutely crippling, outweighing the benefits of having a car, and often exceeding the value of the car itself.

"With this in mind, young drivers should think about how much they actually drive their car and whether they may be better suited to a pay-as-you-go style of insurance. Those who only drive around once a week, for example, could save a huge amount of money by using our subscription model.

"This allows drivers to pay a fee that comprehensively insures the car when parked and unattended and then pay a modest hourly rate to comprehensively insure the car when they drive. The subscription recurs every 28 days to give drivers greater flexibility.

"One of our objectives at Cuvva is to reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the road in the UK. At present, this sits at around one million. By raising awareness of cost-effective alternatives to traditional annual insurance, we hope to see fewer cases of young people driving without insurance."

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