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How much does it cost to run a car as a young driver?

By Tom Gibson | March 9, 2023


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Learning to drive is an exciting time, but it's important to remember that running a car can be expensive. We take a look at the different elements you’ll need to pay for here…

How much does it cost to run a car as a young driver?

Learning to drive

Before you can start driving, you'll need to get a provisional driving licence. This currently costs £34 if you apply online and £43 if you apply by post. You'll also need to pay for driving lessons, which can vary depending on the driving school you choose and the area you live in, but will cost anything upwards of £25 per hour.

Taking your test

The current cost of a car driving test in the UK is £62 on weekdays and £75 on evenings, weekends, and bank holidays. If you need to retake your test, you'll need to pay this fee again.

Buying a car

Once you've passed your driving test, you'll need to buy or lease a car. The cost of a car can vary widely depending on the make and model, age, mileage, and condition. If you're buying a used car, make sure to have it checked by someone who knows what they’re on about to ensure it's in good condition and won't require expensive repairs. If you want to weigh up whether it’s worth buying a car or getting a lease, checkout the FAQs section of our new car leasing page here.

Car insurance

Car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK, and it can be expensive for young drivers. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average cost of car insurance for drivers aged 17-24 is £1,264 per year. However, there are ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance, such as choosing a car in a lower insurance group, increasing your excess, and adding a named driver. Read our top tips on how to reduce your insurance policy here. 

Road tax

All cars in the UK must be taxed, and the amount you'll pay depends on the car's emissions. If you have a petrol or diesel car that was registered after 1 April 2017, you'll pay between £10 and £565 per year, although there are plenty of petrol and diesel cars on the market that can cost as little as £20-£30 to tax each year.


Finally, you'll need to pay for fuel to keep your car running. The cost of fuel can vary depending on the area you live in and the type of fuel your car uses. According to the AA, the average cost of petrol in the UK at the time of writing (March 2023) is currently around £1.40 per litre, while diesel is around £1.46 per litre.

So, running a car can be expensive, especially for young drivers but with the cost comes great freedom. However, by being aware of the costs involved and taking steps to reduce them, such as choosing a car in a lower insurance group and shopping around for the best deals on car insurance, you can make the experience more affordable.

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