Skip to content

How much does learning to drive cost parents?

When combining the price of driving lessons with the purchase of a first car and driving costs, it can quickly add up. Driving lessons alone can take an average of 47 hours and cost approximately £1,159, yet 34% of parents are willing to cover the entire cost for their child.

We carried out a survey of parents across the UK to reveal how much they financially contribute to not only their child’s driving lessons but also their first car and the cost to maintain it.

One-third of parents pay for all of their child's driving lessons

68% of parents across the UK claimed they have financially contributed to their child’s driving lessons, with 34% admitting to paying for them all. But where across the UK are parents contributing the most?

City % of parents who paid for all of their child's driving lessons
Leeds 40.1%
Cardiff 39.8%
London 38.5%
Belfast 38.2%
Manchester 37.7%

Parents in Leeds are most likely to pay for the entirety of their child’s driving lessons (40.1%), followed by Cardiff (39.81%) and London (38.53%). Almost half (48%) of parents surveyed said they use their savings to afford the cost.

Parents in Cardiff are most likely to contribute to their child’s first car

Driving lessons is only one part of the driving process, and the survey also asked parents whether they financially contributed to their child’s first car, with over half (54%) admitting to having some sort of financial input.

When looking at how this differs throughout the UK, parents in Cardiff and Glasgow were found to be most likely to cover the entire cost of their children’s first car, where one in three (34%) make this generous purchase, followed by parents in London (31%).

City % of parents who paid for all of their child's first car
Cardiff 34%
Glasgow 34%
London 32%
Newcastle 31%
 Norwich 30%

Parents contribute an average of £3,528 to their child’s first car

When exploring just how much these financial contributions equate to, parents admit to forking out an average of £3,528 towards their child’s first car, with the average age of the vehicle being six years old. Only 6% of parents bought their child a brand-new car. The survey further revealed more than 70% of first drivers get a first car that is five years old and 22% of new drivers cars are 10 years old or above.

Parents in Sheffield are also contributing the most to their child's first car, an average of £4,544, over £1,000 more than the average contribution of £3,528 across the UK.

Two in three (67%) parents admitted to using their own savings in order to purchase their child's first car, followed by 18% who used their household budget. While one in ten (10%) parents borrow money to help cover the cost, using loans (5%), credit cards (3%) or money borrowed from friends and family (3%) to help meet the expense.

One in four (26%) parents paid for their child’s road tax in the first year

To help their child stay on the road many parents also contribute to additional costs including insurance, fuel and tax. Our research shows 18% of parents will contribute to on-the-road expenses (MOT, Tax, Services) and fuel until their child can financially afford it themselves.

Car insurance for new drivers can be expensive, and according to our data, the average cost of car insurance for drivers under 25 is £1,205, £565 more than the average insurance premium.

This additional cost means that 45% of parents financially contributed towards their child's first year of car insurance with one in two (54%) withdrawing these contributions after the first year and 17% of parents continuing to financially input until their child can afford it themselves. 

Brought to you by the car insurance experts at



The survey data collected in this study was based on a survey of 2,000 UK parents whose child passed their driving test in the last 10 years, which took place in February 2022.