Who should pay for driving lessons for a child?

So who should pay for driving lessons for a child?

I think wholeheartedly that kids should contribute I think it makes them committed to what they are doing however this is not the norm.
A recent study by personalised number plate provider Regtransfers has revealed a significant trend in British attitudes towards funding young adults’ driving education. Surveying 1,000 adults across the UK, the study revealed an overwhelming 87% believe parents should contribute to the costs associated with their children learning to drive.

But a number of people agreed with me, at least partially! 

In fact, one-third of respondents advocated for a balanced financial responsibility, suggesting a fifty-fifty split between parents and their 17-year-old offspring for driving lessons, while a quarter felt it should be the same when it came to purchasing their first vehicle.



Learning to Drive is expensive!

With the cost of driving lessons ranging from £25 to £50 per hour and a recommended 45 hours to pass the driving test, the total expense of learning to drive can escalate to approximately £1,125 to £2,250. For many young adults, this represents a significant financial challenge. The study reflects this, indicating that half of the respondents received some form of parental assistance in meeting these costs.

A generational comparison within the study reveals a stark contrast in financial independence over time. Among respondents who have passed their driving test, 60% of those aged 65 and above funded their lessons independently, a figure that drops to a mere 10% among the 18-25 age group.

Shocking right – where is the responsibility and investment form the young person?



The First Car

Purchasing a first car is another key financial investment for new drivers, but the study observed a similar generational decline in financial independence, with only 20% of young adults aged 18-25 managing to buy their first car without parental support, compared to 64% of adults over 65.

We are fosterineg a co-dependence and putting ourselves in debt. 


The Dramatically Rising Cost of Driving

As highlighted by online vehicle marketplace Parkers in the period between 1980 and 1995, driving lessons were priced between £5 and £15. Adjusting for inflation, the cost of popular models like the Ford Cortina Mk3 from 1972 equates to approximately £13,520 to £16,988 in today’s terms.

In comparison, a Ford Kuga is priced significantly higher, ranging from £27,985 to £39,305. However, when juxtaposed with the increase in average salaries, the proportional expense allocated to purchasing a new car remains relatively consistent.


Car Insurance!

One notable exception to this trend is the cost of car insurance. Recent news reports indicate that the average premium now stands at £995, up 52% from the previous year, at an increase of £366. Young drivers have been disproportionately affected, as their premiums have increased to £2,002 in the last 12 months by £655. The average cost of an insurance now stands at £2,877, with new drivers under the age of 17 experiencing annual rises of 98%, or £1,423.

Elliott Allen, an Independent Financial Adviser at Advanta Wealth addresses the broader UK financial landscape. He acknowledges the post-Covid economic environment, marked by rising inflation and mortgage rates, as exacerbating the financial pressures on families.

“Things are tough at the moment, and the cost of independence has risen significantly over generations, meaning it’s harder to meet the many financial responsibilities we all face. The costs involved in driving lessons, buying a first car, university fees, buying property and so on have all increased at rates that exceed wage increases.’



So Should Parents Help?

Allen continues to offer his thoughts on how parents – and their children can alleviate some of the financial burden of learning to drive:

“It is entirely individual whether parents would like to get involved in paying for their child’s driving lessons or first cars. Everyone is going to have different opinions, circumstances and values when it comes to money. For those parents who do want to help their children, the best and most simple advice is to start saving from an early age.

There are products on the market, such as a Junior ISA, which parents can contribute towards. Once your child turns 18, they will have access to the funds, and if you’ve been contributing little and often to this fund, you will have generated a good financial platform for them. People often under-estimate the value of time, and starting as early as possible gives the greatest impact of compound interest for any savers accounts available.”

Commenting on the study’s overall findings, Regtransfers CEO Mark Trimbee states:

“Ultimately, how a family chooses to support one another is down to individual values and circumstances. Not everyone is going to show support in the same way, but what can be said, with certainty, is that you never forget passing your test, buying your first car and making it your own!”


1 Comment

  1. February 7, 2024 / 16:44

    My eldest girl was one of the lucky one’s to be given a child trust fund by the government so she has spent the majority of that money, (about £1000) on driving lessons and now that she is working she pays for the lessons herself now. I think it’s down to the family and it really depends on the young adults circumstances.

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