• The first year of driving costs just over £6k for the average Brit and takes 13 months to save up for
  • The average second-hand car costs just over £3k and annual fuel expenditure hovers around the £1k mark
  • Buying a first house is a whopping 576% more expensive than the first year of driving
  • You’ll also need nearly eight years’ worth of savings to buy your first house

New research by Vertu Motors has found that Brits need to save just over £6K (£6,098) to afford to be a first-time driver for their first year in the UK.

The research compiled from more than 20 financial data sources (including Nimblefins and the Money Advice Service) also found that it would take the average first-time driver 1.1 years (or 13 months) worth of savings to afford to drive on British roads in 2021.

The annual costs calculation included buying a second-hand vehicle, new driver insurance, road tax, MOT, servicing, breakdown cover, and average fuel cost.

First-year driver costs
Type of expense Average cost
Second-hand car £3,388
Fuel £1,123.11
Insurance £1,241
Road tax £155
Servicing £119.00
Breakdown cover £37.60
MOT £34.65
Total £6,098

When compared against other major life events, however, the costs associated with the first year of driving are just a drop in the ocean.

Planning a wedding, for example, is more than three times as expensive (£21,850) as the first year of driving. The costs for catering and paying for the venue alone are £10k on average – and that’s before the dress, the rings, the honeymoon, and decorations.

Wedding costs
Type of expense Average cost
Catering £5,500
Venue £4,500
Honeymoon £4,500
Clothes £2,500
Decorations £1,350
Photography £1,000
Entertainment £900
Rings £900
Transport £400
Registrar fees £300
Total £21,850

Similarly, Vertu Motors found that buying a house (£41,234) is a whopping 576% pricier than hitting the road in your first-ever vehicle.

In fact, even just the average house deposit (£38,194) costs more than all the other major life events (first year of driving and organising a wedding) put together.

First house costs
Type of expense Average cost
Deposit £38,194
Mortgage fees £1,078
Conveyance fees £904
Property survey costs £600
Valuation fees £295
Home insurance £163
Stamp Duty £0
Total £41,234

Then there is the financial patience to consider. It takes the average Brit 4 years to save for a wedding, while getting on the property ladder takes approximately 7.6 years of tight money management.

On the other hand, getting the money together to afford the first year of driving takes just over a year.

Major life event Average cost Years to save
First time buying a house £41,234 7.6
Organising a wedding £21,850 4
First year of driving £6,098 1.1
Total £69,182 12.7 years

Based off average household savings of £450 per month: https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/savings-accounts/average-household-savings-uk#savingspermonth

A Vertu Motors spokesperson commented:

“The upfront costs that come with being handed your pink driving licence can feel daunting in the beginning. But our research has found that it is an achievable financial goal compared to other major life events.

“Of course, driving costs are by no means cheap, but learning to drive is a major milestone and a pivotal moment for independence.  

“One thing is for sure: knowing how much life events, like learning to drive, cost and how long they take to save for will prove essential when it comes to actually making them a reality.”

For further insights from Vertu Motors, visit the Vertu Motors blog.

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