The Cost of Driving is Highway Robbery, Says IAM

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The cost of learning to drive is greater than the average income of young people, according to road safety charity the IAM. Insurance is still the highest proportion of cost when learning to drive. According to a popular price comparison site, the cheapest insurance quote available to a 17-year-old male driver in full-time employment is £7,868.38. The cheapest quote with a telematics box is £4, 464.69.

The cost of learning to drive is greater than the average income of young people, according to road safety charity the IAM. Insurance is still the highest proportion of cost when learning to drive. According to a popular price comparison site, the cheapest insurance quote available to a 17-year-old male driver in full-time employment is £7,868.38. The cheapest quote with a telematics box is £4, 464.69.

In 2009, the average full-time salary for 16-17 year olds was £9300 which has now fallen by nine per cent while the cost of learning to drive has not altered. This will result in young people having to rely on their parents or even loan companies to get themselves on the road.

The total cost of starting to drive, £12,345.23, has not changed by more than a few pounds since last year, when the IAM conducted similar research on the cost of driving.

A breakdown of additional costs is:

  • 2007 1.1l Kia Picanto, £3000
  • Theory and practical driving tests, £106
  • Provisional and full UK driving license, £100
  • Tax and MOT, £189.85
  • Average number of driving lessons to pass, £1081
  • Fuel and maintenance, £6002

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “The expense of learning to drive may affect young people’s chances of getting a job, especially in rural areas where it is essential to get to work, creating a vicious cycle.

“The challenge faced by the government, insurance companies and road safety experts is striking a balance between much-needed experience and manageable costs.

“The IAM is calling for insurance companies to be prepared to respond to fluctuations in earnings, and recognise the value of post-test driver training by rewarding safer drivers with more affordable insurance premiums. It is important for young drivers to do their research and shop around when buying insurance.”

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Notes to editors:

1.    For a year’s worth of fuel and maintenance based on driving less than 3,000 miles. This has not been included in the overall figure for the cost of learning to drive.
2.    Comparative figures sourced from the IAM press release 26 September 2011, ‘£12,000 – the cost of a first year’s motoring’
3.     The quotes received on a price comparison site
Cost    Cover
£4464.69    Comprehensive – including the fitting of a telematics box
£7868.38    Comprehensive
£8331.99    Comprehensive
£8334.49    Comprehensive
£9231.50    Comprehensive
£9248.01    Comprehensive
£9370.62    Comprehensive
£9841.70    Comprehensive
£9984.68    Comprehensive
£10057.60    Comprehensive
£15694.36    Comprehensive
£24301.93    Comprehensive
£24330.92    Comprehensive

3. The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.

Media contacts:
IAM Press Office – 020 8996 9777
press(dot)office(at)iam(dot)org(dot)uk
ISDN broadcast lines available
iam.org.uk

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Tanvir Nandra
Institute of Advanced Motorists
02089969777
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