Young drivers are being priced off the road

Young drivers are being priced off the road

Young drivers are becoming increasingly more reliant on the bank of mum and dad to fund learning to drive. Learner Driver Week wants to ensure that the process of learning to drive is as comprehensive, accessible and affordable as possible.

A growing expense

A recent survey of more than 1,800 young motorists by Marmalade, the driving force behind Learner Driver Week, has found that the combined costs of learning to drive are placing a heavy financial burden on young motorists.

With the average cost of learning to drive now totalling around £1,250, driving is becoming increasingly inaccessible to those without parental support:

  • 78% of survey respondents feel that driving is either expensive or extremely expensive,
  • 47% of 17 to 24-year-olds relied on their parents to pay for their practical test,
  • 42% had their car insurance paid for by mum and dad,

…and of course there are many additional costs on top of this including buying a car, taxing it and fuelling it!

Parents are being called to do more than just stump up for the cost of learning to drive. They are giving up their time too, with 38% of learners depending on their parents to support them as they clock up additional miles as a learner.

A government proposal has recommended that learner drivers should complete up to 120 hours of driving time before they sit their test in a bid to cut accidents. If this were to be adopted, it is expected that parents will need to take on the bulk of these driving hours in order to keep costs down. 

Stop hammering young drivers

Commenting on the rising cost of learning to drive, Marmalade’s CEO, Crispin Moger, said:

Young drivers, and their parents, are being hammered with the cost of learning to drive and it’s not fair. There are many contributing factors and naturally some costs are fixed but the most significant and, in our view, the most unfair is the cost of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT).

Insurance Premium Tax was launched in 1994 and is levied tax on premiums for policies including motor, home, pet, private medical and pet insurance. As younger drivers pay higher premiums, they bear the brunt of any IPT increases.

Marmalade is campaigning for a reduction in IPT, or a complete removal of IPT for young drivers who use black boxes. Novice drivers need practice to become safer on the roads, but how can we expect them to get practice if the cost to get on the road is so high?

The high cost of driving discriminates against young drivers. Students and young people are facing the most significant rise in costs and, when research shows that 40% need their car to get to work or their place of education, it seems foolish not to encourage these drivers to use telematics policies to make them safer drivers.

Telematics, or black box policies, are proving hugely popular with young drivers as a cheaper alternative to traditional policies, rewarding good driving rather than providing flat rates based on demographic information.

As insurers providing these policies demonstrate that those with black boxes are safer drivers than those without black boxes, we believe IPT should be offered at a lower level or wiped off completely for drivers who voluntarily opt for policies that allow them to review their driving.

The current system is not fair, but there is a better way.

26/07/2017
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