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Most new drivers can't afford to drive after passing their test

By Craig Perry, 28th November 2023

Category: Car insurance

Every motorist remembers the day they passed their driving test and the travel freedom that they could look forward to as a result. But rising insurance premiums are increasingly getting in the way of new drivers taking their own cars out on the road.

Research by Consumer Intelligence shows that the average car insurance premium quote has increased by 66.5% in the past year, making it harder for younger drivers in particular to afford all of the costs associated with motoring.

Just 44% of newly qualified motorists can afford to take their own car out on the road straight away. While 14% of motorists need to wait three months to start driving their own car, a further 13% report that they needed to wait between one and five years.

It’s a problem that affects younger drivers more than older drivers. Half (50%) of drivers aged 65+ say that they could drive their own car immediately after passing their test compared to a third (33%) of drivers aged between 18-24.

Almost six-in-10 (57%) of drivers report that the cost of insurance was either a small or major factor in delays to driving their own cars. This rises to 79% of drivers aged between 18-24, who are routinely offered higher policy premiums than more experienced older drivers.

Newly qualified drivers in London are less likely to be able to afford to drive their own cars than those in other parts of the UK. Only 30% of drivers in London could start driving their own cars compared to the average of 44%. New motorists are most likely to hit the road quickly in Wales, where 52% said they could afford to start driving immediately after securing their licences.

An option for new drivers is to choose a telematics insurance policy, which offers lower premiums in return for safer driving habits recorded by a telematics device or app. Of those drivers who had bought a telematics policy, 81% say that it helped them start driving their own car within a shorter timeframe than if they had stuck with a traditional car insurance product.

Passing your driving test is always a memorable experience and it’s a shame that so many new drivers have to delay taking their own cars out on the road. But choosing a policy that helps drivers reduce their premiums has already contributed to more motorists being able to start driving their vehicles as soon as they qualify.

And it’s worth noting that the type of policy that we offer doesn’t just help reduce policy costs, but encourages slower and more careful driving to reduce the impact of carbon emissions on the environment, as well as to save fuel. So as well as getting drivers out and about more quickly after they qualify, the right policies can go on to reduce other costs too.