The cost of running a car for young drivers has plummeted by £536 year-on-year.

This is the conclusion of research by The drop in costs in primarily driven by lower fuel and insurance costs. On average, a 17 to 24-year-old driver will now pay £1,737 to run a car in the first year. It’s the lowest annual running cost since this ‘Young Driver’ research began six years ago.

Miles better

The cost of driving had been rising in recent years, making it almost unaffordable for many young people. However, the pandemic, the declining cost of insurance and fuel has eradicated the increases seen in previous years. The research analyses the cost of insurance, fuel, road tax, and breakdown cover.

The dramatic decline in insurance and fuel costs in the first six months of 2021 have had a significant effect. Young drivers slashing their average annual mileage has seen a big impact. Young drivers have averaged just 3,541 miles this year, down from 7,347 miles the previous year. As a result, a young driver’s typical fuel costs have fallen to £416. Thats a saving of  £453 year-on-year, and despite a recent increase in the cost of petrol.

Taking cover

Car insurance is still responsible for more than half of overall car running costs (61%). However, this cost has tumbled in the past year as the pandemic has reduced the number of cars on the road. The average annual car insurance premium for young drivers now stands at £1,062. This represents a significant £120 (10%) drop from the first half of 2020.

When the typical cost of buying one of the most popular cars for young drivers is included, the total cost of getting a young driver on the road is £4,633 – a £2,145 decline year-on-year.

But the report warns young drivers not to auto-renew their insurance. Each year, all motorists should ‘compare the market’ for the best deals. The annual premium for young drivers has typically dropped to £885. This means young drivers could save an extra £178 if they shop around for a better deal rather than automatically renewing their policies.

These savings will be particularly beneficial as the wider economic impact of the pandemic on younger people means many are still feeling the pinch. The latest Household Financial Confidence Tracker shows more than a fifth (23%) of 18–24-year-olds struggled to afford bill payments and financial commitments in recently.

Price of running a car for 17 – 24 year olds (Jan 21- Jun 21)

Cost name Cost % of total cost
Insurance £1,062 61.1%
Fuel £416 23.9%
Est. VED (Road Tax) £180 10.4%
MOT £55 3.2%
Breakdown cover £24 1.4%
Total cost per year £1,737 100%



Most Popular Cars for 17-24 year olds in 2021

Model Average Premium Average Value
Ford Fiesta Zetec £972 £2,227
Fiat 500 Lounge £651 £4,082
Ford Fiesta Zetec (80) £815 £4,623
Mini Cooper £862 £4,724
Vauxhall Corsa SXI £1,066 £2,061
Vauxhall Corsa Limited Edition £1,031 £2,844
Fiat 500 Pop £662 £2,950
Mini One £792 £3,212
Peugeot 107 Urban £769 £1,252
Ford Fiesta Zetec Climate £1,009 £981