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Holding Icon Jun 2014 | New Drivers Face Harsh Financial Reality

Jun 2014 | New Drivers Face Harsh Financial Reality

New drivers dreaming of personal freedom face harsh financial reality.

A growing number of new drivers have to rely on financial assistance from their parents and cut back on non-essential spending in order to fund their motoring according to new figures from Halfords Autocentres.

The independent garage business has found that, despite the economic upturn, almost two thirds (59%) of new drivers rely on parents or family to meet their motoring costs (up from 20% in 2012) and more than a third (33%) are making sacrifices in order to remain mobile (up from 15%).

Rory Carlin from Halfords Autocentres commented: ''For many new drivers the dream of freedom and personal mobility that having a car represents is a far cry from the reality they experience once they have passed their test.

''A significant proportion of new drivers dramatically underestimate the cost of motoring and the importance of on-going maintenance in particular - placing an increased reliance on the bank of mom and dad.''

However, there are early signs that parents are no longer as willing or able to subsidise their children's motoring - with more than half of learners now paying for their own driving lessons and saving hard in order to afford or contribute to paying for their own car insurance.

Halfords Autocentres research found that 37% of new drivers do not understand the importance of car maintenance and a further 33% were uncertain - compared to the 30% that do.

When asked about affording regular servicing or unforeseen repairs, 42% said they do not budget for them in advance and 28% were uncertain - whilst 29% reported that they do.

Commenting on the findings, Maria McCarthy author of 'The Girls' Car Handbook' added: ''Passing your driving test is a triumph and buying your first car feels like a rite of passage into adulthood.

''But it's important for new drivers to realise that keeping their motor on the road doesn't just involve filling it up at the pump. Other costs like servicing, MOTs, repairs and insurance all need to be budgeted for in advance.''

To read Halfords Autocentres' research in full visit Friend of the Motorist Study 2014.