• Increase in oil prices mean annual fuel costs for young drivers jumps by £88 to £828 per
  • Insurance continues to be a significant burden for young drivers, costing on average £1,257 a year
  • The Vauxhall Corsa tops the list as the most popular car for 17 – 24 year olds


August 2016 – The cost of running a car for a young driver has risen by £98 or 4.4%, primarily due to increased fuel costs as global oil prices rebound. In its bi-annual Young Drivers report, comparethemarket.com found that over the previous six months, the annual costs of running a car for a 17 – 24 year old has hit £2,299.

Car insurance remains to be the most significant cost for young drivers, accounting for more than 54% of the total annual cost of running a car. Car insurance premiums for 17 – 24 year olds continued their upward trend, growing by almost 1% or £10 on average, per driver, since the last report in March and by £143 compared to July 2015. The continual rise in car insurance premiums for young drivers is likely due, in part, to the increases in insurance premium tax (IPT) announced at both the Autumn Statement in 2015 and the Budget in March 2016.

Cost of running a car (17-24 year olds)

Cost August 2016 Six months ago Cost difference % change


 £1,246.54  +£10.81  0.87%
Fuel  £828.56  £739.68  +£88.88  12.02%
Est. VED (Road Tax)  £110.00  £110.00  £0.00  0.00%
MOT  £54.85  £54.85  £0.00  0.00%
Breakdown cover  £48.76  £50.00  - £1.24  - 2.48%
 Total cost per year  £2,299.52  £2,201.07  +£98.45  4.47%


The report by comparethemarket.com looks at the most popular cars for 17 – 24 year olds as well as the cheapest cars to insure. The Vauxhall Corsa maintained its position as the most popular car for young drivers, which accounts for nearly a quarter of enquiries, followed by the Ford Fiesta and then the Renault Clio. However, only one car, the Fiat 500, made the top ten for both the most popular car and the cheapest car to insure. The Volkswagen Up! topped the list of cheapest cars to insure for the second time, costing an average of £849.

Simon McCulloch, Director of insurance at comparethemarket.com, said:

“The cost of car insurance continues to weigh heavily on young drivers and is the largest portion of the price that they have to pay to get on the road. The continual rise in insurance costs could well have a tangible effect on the number of younger drivers who can actually afford to buy and run a car. However, there is hope for those who take the time to search out the cheaper options: the £250 average saving on offer could make all the difference, potentially enabling people to get behind the wheel for the first time. Younger drivers should also look at insurance prices for several vehicles before deciding which car to buy – different models can have vastly different premiums, despite seeming to be broadly similar.”

“When buying your first car, it is easy to forget to think about the running costs of your vehicle. By spending a little more money up front, drivers could save hundreds every year on their car insurance. Also, it is wise to ensure that when you buy a new car, you do not take the first policy that comes across your screen and take the time to search out a better deal. The £250 average saving is a testament to that fact.”

Download the full report.

Notes to editors:
All data sourced from comparethemarket.com or Gov.uk.

The average saving is based on the difference between the cheapest click-through price presented and the mean average of the top five cheapest prices presented to a customer, where a consumer has clicked through to buy.

When the cheapest price is referred to, this is the average cheapest price presented, where a customer has clicked through to buy.

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