New drivers plan to spend £4,000 on their first car – and are most likely to pick a petrol engine

Newly qualified drivers plan on spending £4,124 on their first car, according to new research.

Pre-17 driving experts at Young Driver surveyed 500 of its customers who will soon turn 17, to find out what their plans are when they pass their driving test. The driving school specialises in teaching 10-17 year olds how to drive, with the aim of creating a safer next generation of drivers.

Almost two thirds of the respondents (64%) said the new driver would have their own car when they passed their test – with 8% already having one lined up. One in three (29%) said the new driver would solely have use of their parent’s car to begin with. Only 3% would have no access to a vehicle.

Of the new drivers who will be getting a car, the Young Driver research revealed that:

  • 98% will get a used vehicle
  • 84% will get a petrol, 12% diesel and 4% electric
  • 92% will get a manual

When asked how much they were likely to spend on a new car, only 4% said they planned on forking out more than £10,000. Seven per cent were looking at cars under £1,000, with the average amount, from all the responses, being £4,124. In 60% of cases the car would be bought by a parent or other family member, and for 40% it would be the driver themselves.

A car dealership was the most popular way of securing a new car, with 36% saying that is how they would purchase a vehicle, closely followed by 35% looking online. One in 10 (11%) plan to get a car from friends or family.

Sue Waterfield, head of marketing at Young Driver, said: “It’s interesting to see such a high percentage of youngsters will have access to their own car when they pass their test. Driving allows young people far more independence and opportunities when it comes to employment and education, especially in rural areas where public transport can be lacking. Our aim as an organisation is to make sure new drivers are as well equipped to drive on their own as they can be. We know the accident rate is significantly higher for new drivers. So it makes sense that we extend the learning process and teach young people over a longer period of time, so they have the chance to get to grips with the skills needed in an unpressured and safe environment. That can also have financial benefits as it means fewer lessons are needed on the road once they reach 17, as the mechanics of driving are understood – it’s then more about learning how to deal with other road users.”

Young Driver launched in 2009 with the aim of revolutionising the learning to drive journey.  Teaching pupils how to safely drive a car on private property, it now operates at 70 venues nationwide. Pupils aged 10 to 17 learn in a dual controlled Vauxhall Corsa, or similar vehicle, with a fully qualified driving instructor. Road systems are created, including roundabouts, junctions, signage and car parks, as pupils learn to change gear, steer, brake, park and manoeuvre amongst other traffic.

For more information about pre-17 driving go to or download the Young Driver app.

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