Cost of the Coronavirus forcing young people off the road

Published: 29 JUNE 2020
  1. One in five young drivers have stopped using their car as they can no longer afford to run it.
  2. A third of young drivers (33%) have had to ask for financial assistance from family or friends.
  3. Over half say that not being able to afford their car will impact their ability to get a job.

25 June 2020: One in five young people have stopped using their car as they can no longer afford to run it as a result of the coronavirus, according to new research by In addition, (47%) of 17-24 year olds with a full or provisional driving have found that the financial impact of coronavirus has made it harder for them to afford the running costs of their car.
Young people have faced serious financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic; research shows that 37% of young people expect to be made redundant or take a pay cut due to the coronavirus – higher than the average across all age groups.
While some have been able to stay on the road, a third of young drivers (33%) have had to ask for financial assistance from family or friends to help with the cost of running a car. On average, a 17-24-year-old driver will now pay £2,370 to run his or her car in the first year, of which more than half (£1,264) is the cost of insurance, according to’s latest Young Drivers report.
Not being able to afford to drive can have significant consequences on jobs and social lives. Over half of young drivers (54%) believe that not being able to afford to run their car will negatively impact their ability to get a job, while almost 60% say that it will negatively impact their ability to get to work. 63% of young drivers also said that not being able to afford to run their car would negatively impact their ability to see family or friends.
The pandemic has also had an impact on those who have not yet passed their driving tests. Of those young people who were actively trying to pass their test prior to the lockdown, 90% said that they have had to cancel lessons, theory or practical tests. This delay is likely to have an impact on their job prospects with over half (56%) stating that not being able to progress with their test will negatively impact their chances of securing employment.

Dan Hutson, Head of Motor,
“Driving is something that many of us will take for granted, particularly in areas across the country where commuting to work has to be done by car. The pandemic is seeing young people more financially squeezed than ever and this presents a real challenge for those that need a car to secure and hold a job. This is particularly important after the lockdown as car usage will likely increase as people avoid public transport.
“It has always been a particular challenge for young drivers to afford the ongoing running costs of a car. However, pay cuts, job losses and furloughing will inevitably make it near impossible for many young people to keep up with the costs. If commuting by car will become the new normal for many, it is essential that young people take steps to minimise their bills to avoid paying over the odds.”

Top ways for young drivers to lower their car running costs:

  1. If your mileage has reduced due to the pandemic, you should discuss with your insurer to see if it can reduce your premium. If you no longer expect to use your vehicle as much as you said you would when you took out your policy, it may be that your provider will reduce your premium.
  2. Switching your car insurance remains to be one of the best ways to save money. The difference between the average and the cheapest premium currently stands at £121, and £224 for young drivers.
  3. Drivers can stand to save even more money on their policy if they opt to switch their car insurance provider three weeks prior to the renewal date, when the cost of the average policy is significantly cheaper.
  4. Telematics technologies, which monitor the quality of driving, can help to bring down insurance costs and reward safe and responsible drivers.
  5. Adding an older or more experienced driver, who may occasionally use your vehicle, to your policy as a named driver can bring down your premiums. However, if you are the one doing the majority of the driving, you should never set up a policy with an older friend or relative as the main driver. This is an illegal activity known as fronting and could not only invalidate your policy but could earn you a conviction for driving without insurance.
  6. Young drivers can reduce some of the ongoing running costs by buying a more fuel-efficient car which is subject to a lower road tax.
  7. Keeping your car as secure as possible will reduce the chances of theft or damage and therefore should bring down your premium. Parking in a garage or off-road or installing extra locks and alarms can earn you cheaper insurance.

Notes to editors  
Research conducted by Populus of 2,091 UK adults between 6th and 7th May 2020. 
About was launched in 2006 and has grown rapidly over the past fourteen years to become one of the UK’s leading price comparison websites. provides customers with an easy way to make the right choice for them on a wide range of products including motor, home, life, travel and pet insurance as well as utilities and money products such as credit cards and loans. actively works with its brand partners to help provide great services to customers. and are trading names of Compare The Market Limited. Compare The Market Limited is an insurance intermediary, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference Number 778488).