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Fueling the Future: The Debate on Financing Young Drivers’ Education

A recent study by Regtransfers, the UK’s leading personalised number plate provider, has unearthed revealing insights into British attitudes towards funding young adults’ driving education. The survey, involving 1,000 UK adults, uncovered that a staggering 87% believe parents should contribute to their children’s driving lesson expenses.

Learning to Drive: A Costly Endeavour

The cost of driving lessons in the UK ranges from £25 to £50 per hour. With a recommended 45 hours needed to pass the test, the total expense can soar to approximately £1,125 to £2,250. This substantial cost poses a significant financial challenge for many young adults. The study supports this, showing that half of the respondents received some form of parental assistance to cover these costs.

Generational Shifts in Financial Independence

The survey revealed a notable generational shift. While 60% of respondents aged 65 and above funded their driving lessons independently, this figure drastically drops to just 10% among those aged 18-25.

The First Car: A Financial Milestone

Purchasing a first car is another significant financial milestone. The study observed a similar decline in young adults’ financial independence, with only 20% of 18-25-year-olds able to buy their first car without parental support, compared to 64% of those over 65.

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Inflation and Rising Driving Costs

The cost of learning to drive and purchasing a vehicle has significantly increased over the years. For example, the cost of a Ford Cortina Mk3 from 1972, adjusted for inflation, is considerably lower than the price of a modern Ford Kuga. Yet, when compared with average salary increases, the proportional expense remains relatively consistent.

The Burden of Car Insurance

A standout in rising costs is car insurance. The average premium now stands at £995, a 52% increase from the previous year. Young drivers face even steeper increases, with premiums averaging £2,877 for new drivers under 17, marking an annual rise of 98%.

Financial Adviser’s Perspective

Elliott Allen, an Independent Financial Adviser, notes the challenges in today’s financial landscape, particularly for families. He observes that the cost of independence has risen significantly, making it more challenging to meet various financial responsibilities.

Should Parents Help?

Allen suggests that the decision to finance driving lessons or a first car is a personal choice for parents. He advises those who choose to help to start saving early, recommending products like a Junior ISA for long-term benefits.

Regtransfers CEO Comments

Mark Trimbee, CEO of Regtransfers, reflects on the study, highlighting the increasing trend of parental support in financing driving education. He acknowledges the importance of this support but emphasises the value of teaching young adults patience and financial responsibility.

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