Young drivers increasingly dipping into the Tank of Mum and Dad, survey finds

Published:  26 October, 2020

63% of drivers aged 17-24 needed financial help from parents to keep their cars on the road in the last 12 months, up from 49% in the previous-pre-pandemic year, a survey from has found.

Parental support is becoming increasingly vital for young drivers, the report, entitled The Tank of Mum and Dad has found, with a car seen as vital for young people looking to maintain their professional lives, as well as for the social aspect.

39% of parents said that they paid some or all of the costs for the duration of their child’s first year driving, while 14% contributed for the first two years in which their child was on the road, and 6% kept up the contributions for three years.

The average amount spent by parents who contributed to motoring costs and know what they spent on insurance, petrol, repairs and tax costs is up to £750 combined. Parents contribute the most money towards the cost of their child’s motor insurance – paying out an average of £289 towards insurance policies. Petrol is the second most common financial contribution at £155 a year, followed by vehicle repairs at £185 and vehicle tax at £120. In addition, 36% of parents said that they helped their children buy their first car – contributing an average of £2,273 to the cost of the car.

41% of young people say that their work life or job would suffer if their parents did not contribute towards the cost of running a car. 71% of 17-24-year olds said that their income is not high enough to cover the cost of driving.

48% of parents said having to support their child with costs associated with their car is a “financial burden” on them, while 49% of young people said they are embarrassed that they have to ask their parents for financial support to run a car.

Commenting on the findings, Dan Hutson, Head of Motor at: “These statistics indicate that, for many young people, driving has become a necessity that they cannot afford by themselves – nearly three quarters said that their pay cheque is not high enough to cover the cost of driving. Cars are essential for many in the UK who use them to get to work, see their friends and family. A large proportion of people said that their social life or job would suffer if they couldn’t afford a car.”

He added: “If this form of transport is out of reach for many in the UK that do not have the luxury of parental support, we can expect many to find it much more difficult to secure and maintain jobs.”

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