Motoring: First year on the road soars to £12,000

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Young drivers are likely to pay more than £12,000 for a year on the road, even before their car is driven anywhere, according to road safety charity the IAM.

In order to afford the costs of lessons and a first year of driving, a 17-year-old male would have to pay £12,300.

In 2009, the average full-time salary for budding drivers aged 16 and 17 was £9,300..

The biggest proportion of that cost is not the price of an insurance-friendly car, but the insurance itself.

The breakdown of costs, excluding fuel and maintenance, is:

l Average cost of lessons before you pass test, £1,128

l Driving test costs (theory and practical assuming first time pass), £100

l Five-year-old Kia Picanto, £3,000

l Insurance (based on popular comparison site quote), £7,900

l Tax and MOT, £180

Young men pay the most for insurance because they are the highest risk on the road. But legislation coming in at the end of 2012 will make it illegal for companies to discriminate on grounds of gender – young women are likely to see their premiums rise significantly.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “The average cost of a claim by young drivers is £4,500, but insurance can cost nearly twice that.

“This will have an effect on road safety because young drivers are consequently unlikely to afford newer and safer vehicles. It also affects their chances of getting a job, especially in rural areas where a car is essential to get to work.

“The IAM wants to see driving risks – and therefore claims – reduced with more pre-driving training for those aged 14 to 16, so that they understand the skills they will need when they get behind the wheel.

“We also need to see post-test training for young drivers in the first 12 to 18 months after passing their driving test. In Austria this has been shown to cut the death rate for young male drivers by 30 per cent*.

“Where drivers can demonstrate that post-test training reduces their risk, the insurance industry needs to respond with lower premiums.”