UK parents are collectively spending £22 billion to help get their children on the road and three quarters of mums and dads in the South East admit paying for their child’s driving lessons.
A new survey of parents found that they are struggling to keep up with the rising costs involved in helping their children learn to drive and get motoring independently.
On average the process of taking to the open road for the first time now costs £7,000 - factoring in the cost of lessons, a car and insurance - and parents across the country are footing much of this bill.
Almost three quarters of parents in the South East (73.5 per cent) said they had paid for their child’s driving lessons. With them costing £24 on average and the Driver Standards Agency recommending 47 hours of tuition, that adds up to a potential £1,128 just to get them ready to sit their test.
On top of that, more than three quarters of South East parents (80 per cent) also help their children buy their first car, with a third (33 per cent) stumping up at least part of the deposit for a car. And more than half (52.3 per cent) of those surveyed revealed that they continued to pay out for regular maintenance, insurance, cleaning and even buying accessories.
Once their offspring have passed their test and secured some wheels, the biggest cost facing the Bank of Mum and Dad is getting the kids insured. The latest figures reveal that the cost of insurance alone for young drivers has risen by 13 per cent in the last year and for a 17-year-old now stands at £2,013 a year.
In a bid to bring these costs down many families are turning to technology. More than half of parents in the South East (53.6 per cent) have installed an insurance company ‘black box’ or dashboard camera. One in five (20 per cent) have also agreed to a high excess to reduce costs, while 42 per cent have put their names on their child’s insurance policy to lower payments.
Neil Addley, managing director of NFDA Trusted Dealers, said: “The survey findings show that each year the costs associated with learning to drive rises, putting a strain not only on learners, but also on the Bank of Mum and Dad. Increasing prices means there is often a temptation to scrimp on some things, such as the quality of the car, but this can lead to high running costs, leaving you out of pocket in the long term.
“With more and more parents stepping in to help get their children motoring, we have developed a dedicated section on our site which is filled with tips and advice from buying your first car, to the best cars for students.”