As with just about everything else, the cost for a new driver to get on the road is on the rise.
The average total for taking lessons, passing a driving test and then buying, insuring and running a first car is now £6,574, according to GoCompare – that’s the highest it has been since before the pandemic.
To help motorists choose which models they should be considering for their first motor, it has revealed the top 10 cheapest cars to insure for a young driver between the ages of 17 and 21.
A big price to pay for independence: A driver aged 17 to 21 will pay over £6,500 in total to get on the road for the first year in 2022, according to a new report
The total cost of getting on the road for a young drivers – and their parents who are likely to be offering financial support – has risen 3 per cent from £6,394 last year.
It is the highest since 2019, when the average motoring bill for young driver was £6,846, though the figure dropped significantly in 2020 to £6,071, most likely due to far lower insurance premiums due to restrictions on driving during Covid lockdowns, according to the price comparison website.
The total amount is a combination of licence applications, driving lessons and tests, and then first-car cost, insurance and tax.
GoCompare says the annual increase for new drivers is ‘solely attributed’ to higher vehicle costs.
Used car values have increased for 29 consecutive months, according to AutoTrader.
Average cost for new drivers to get on the road in 2022
Average spent buying first car: £3,592
Vehicle Excise Duty: £66
First year insurance premium: £1,430
Provisional driving licence (if applied online): £34
Driving lessons to successful test (45 lessons at £30 an hour): £1,350
Driving tests (theory and practical – if taken on a weekday): £85
Driving licence application: £17
TOTAL COST: £6,574
Source: GoCompare with average prices based on Aug21-Jul22 data
Its latest report says the average August price for a second-hand model was £17,039, which is 16 per cent higher than the same month in 2021.
For new drivers who are likely only able to afford an older, small used vehicle, this has had an average knock-on effect of more than £200, with the average young motorist under 21 spending £3,592 on their first set of wheels – compared to £3,366 in 2021.
While the average price paid for a first car has risen, the cost to insure one has gone into reverse, the report claims.
For 17-to-21 year olds who bought their first year’s cover via GoCompare between August 2021 and July 2022, they paid an average annual price of £1,430 for a fully-comprehensive policy – that’s £42 less than it was in the 12 months prior.
Purchasing the right first car will also have an impact on premiums, with the report listing the cheapest models for young motorists to insure.
The report says the cheapest motor for them to insure is a Skoda CitiGo at just £908 a-year over the 12-month period reviewed.
The mechanically-identical sister cars, Volkswagen’s Up! and Seat Mii, made up the top three of cheapest motors to insure, at an average of £930 and £960 respectively.
10 cars that offer the cheapest insurance for new drivers
1. Skoda CitiGo: £908
The Czech brand’s smallest model is roomy and has an impressive 3-cylinder engine. It also offers the cheapest young driver insurance costs at an average of £908 a year, according to GoCompare.
2. VW Up!: £930
Look familiar? It should, because the Up! is mechanically the same as the Skoda CitoGo. The premium VW badge appeal means average premiums for a new driver under 21 is £930.
3. Seat Mii: £960
Completing the hat-trick for the VW Group is the Seat Mii. Behind that Seat badge is the same car as the Skoda CitiGo and VW Up!, though the Spanish brand’s generally younger customers makes it the most expensive of the trio at £960.
4. Suzuki Celerio: £961
For years, the Celerio was the second cheapest new car in Britain, with only Dacia’s Sandero less expensive. They’re basic but relatively reliable, which – along with low average premiums for young drivers of £961 – make it very appealing.
5. Hyundai i10: £971
The i10 is the Korean car brand’s answer to affordable driving. The previous-generation car is well equipped, has a lovely interior and will cost young drivers an average of £971 to insure fully-comp.
6. Fiat Panda: £983
The Panda has been around since the early 1980s when it offered no-frills cheap motoring. For young drivers, that’s still the case with average premiums of £983. It doesn’t have the best Euro NCAP crash test record.
7. Citroen C1: £984
French brands traditionally have made some of the best small cars on the road for years, and Citroen’s C1 is no different. It’s cheap and cheerful – and pretty reliable as it was made in conjunction with Toyota. It will cost new drivers £984 a year to insure.
8. Peugeot 108: £996
The 108 is mechanically the same as the Citroen C1 above and the Toyota Aygo, It might feel a bit tinny inside, but the engines are strong and so is overall reliability. Average new driver cover is £996, says GoCompare.
9. Peugeot 107: £1,004
Marginally breaking into the four-figure bracket is the Peugeot 107 – the older version of the 108 listed above. It shares all the same credentials, and a cheaper purchase price. Average new driver premiums are £1,004.
10. Ford Ka: £1,016
Like the Fiat Panda, the Ka has been around for some time. The dinky Ford offers affordable first-year insurance costs to a 17-to-21 year old driver of just £1,016 – that’s what GoCompare customers wanting fully-comprehensive cover had to pay last year.
Source: GoCompare, based on fully-comprehensive policies bought via the comparison site between Aug21-Jul22 by 17-21 year old customers with a UK full licence less than 1 year old
Those living in the South West were found to benefit from the lowest cost of car insurance with an average of £1,221, while youngsters living in London are fleeced with the highest premiums at an average of £1,896.
You can read our ten top tips to cut the cost of car insurance in just a few minutes in our report.
The study also calculated that a fifth of the total outlay to get on the road was driving lessons, with the RAC saying the average learner needs 45 before passing their test, which at a price of £30 comes to a whopping £1,350.
Learners have to pay an average of £1,350 in driving lessons in order to get on the road, according to the calculation
An additional survey of more than 1,000 parents of new drivers found that more than one in four (27 per cent) thought the cost of their child’s motor insurance was far greater than what they had expected.
Some 44 per cent of parents said they contribute towards the cost of their offspring’s first car, though a fifth (19 per cent) also described the process of helping children to get on the road as a ‘significant drain on their own finances’.
Ryan Fulthorpe, GoCompare’s resident motoring expert, said the company’s ‘Cost of getting on the road’ report serves as a benchmark to breakdown the costs that young people and their families will be up against once they come of driving age at a time when living costs are on the rise.
‘We knew that this would be a challenging year for a number of reasons – the global increase in second-hand car costs, the cost of living crisis happening in the UK and not to mention this being the first year that we are somewhat back to normality following the pandemic,’ he said.
‘Sadly, it appears that while costs for young drivers were going in the right direction over the past couple of years, we are now seeing a slight rise in prices.’
It’s important to note that GoCompare’s calculation doesn’t include fuel costs, which have risen dramatically in 2022.