It costs £6k to be a first-time driver on UK roads, new research finds



By Declan Yin // in Finance


The average Brit will take 13 months to save up for a first car, four years to fund a wedding, and eight years to find money for a first house

The average driver in Britain will need to find £6,098 for their first year behind the wheel – which is likely to require 13 months of saving up.

The new findings have been revealed following research by vehicle dealership Vertu Motors – which took second-hand car prices, new driver insurance costs, road tax, MOT, servicing, breakdown cover, and average fuel spend into account.

Results – which were produced from 20 financial data sources including Nimblefins and the Money Advice Service – showed that a first vehicle could cost around £3,388, with fuel and insurance the next biggest expenses.

First-year driver costs
Type of expense Average cost
Second-hand car £3,388
Fuel £1,123.11
Insurance £1,241
Road tax £155
Servicing £119
Breakdown cover £37.60
MOT £34.65
Total £6,098

When compared against other major life purchases, however, the costs associated with the first year of driving are just a drop in the bucket.

Planning a wedding, for example, is more than three times as expensive (£21,850) buying a car. The costs of catering and the venue alone are £10k on average – and that’s before the dress, rings, honeymoon, and decorations are even accounted for.

Wedding costs
Type of expense Average cost
Catering £5,500
Venue £4,500
Honeymoon £4,500
Clothes £2,500
Decorations £1,350
Photography £1,000
Entertainment £900
Rings £900
Transport £400
Registrar fees £300
Total £21,850

Vertu Motors’ research also found that purchasing a house costs a staggering 576% more than a car – with first-time buyers needing to find around £41,234 overall.

The average house deposit alone (£38,194) was shown to cost more than all the other major life events (including first year of driving and organising a wedding) put together.

First house costs
Type of expense Average cost
Deposit £38,194
Mortgage fees £1,078
Conveyance fees £904
Property survey costs £600
Valuation fees £295
Home insurance £163
Stamp Duty £0
Total £41,234

Then, there is financial patience to consider.

It takes the average Brit four years to save for a wedding, whilst getting on the property ladder takes approximately 7.6 years of tight money management.

In comparison, getting the money together to afford the first year of driving takes just over a year of saving up.

Major life event Average cost Years to save
First time buying a house £41,234 7.6
Organising a wedding £21,850 4
First year of driving £6,098 1.1
Total £69,182 12.7 years

Based on average household savings of £450 per month.

A Vertu Motors spokesperson commented: “The upfront costs that come with being handed your pink driving licence can feel daunting in the beginning. But our research has found that it is an achievable financial goal compared to other major life events.

“Of course, driving costs are by no means cheap, but learning to drive is a major milestone and a pivotal moment for independence.

“One thing is for sure: knowing how much life events, like learning to drive, cost and how long they take to save for will prove essential when it comes to actually making them a reality.”

For further insights from Vertu Motors, visit the Vertu Motors blog.

About the author, Declan Yin

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