A new survey commissioned by AA Car Insurance has revealed that the average age at which drivers get their own car is now younger than ever before, with some having their own vehicle before they’re 17 - the legal driving age in the UK. The investigation found that two thirds of 18-24 year olds owned a car before they reached their twenties, compared to 28% of drivers who are now 65 or over.
It seems men are more keen to get their own set of wheels, as 50% of male drivers had managed to get their own car by the time they were 20, compared to 38% of women.
Considering the current economic downturn, the findings may come as a surprise to some, but Simon Douglas, Director of AA Insurance, says that it just shows how much of a priority owning your own vehicle has become.
“At a time when the cost of car ownership is higher than ever, with both fuel and insurance costs rising steeply, getting a car remains a priority, especially for young men in particular. Although the number of drivers of each sex who have passed their test before they’re 20 is similar , owning a car seems to be a rite of passage for young men.”
Indeed, insurance costs for younger drivers are reportedly on the increase, not to mention fuel costs. Younger drivers face larger car insurance premiums as they are more likely to be in a serious accident in their first year of driving, young men in particular with one in five being involved in a collision of some kind.
Along with inexperience, the high accident rate could also be down to the fact that younger people can afford better, more powerful cars. Despite this, young motorists are still spending under £2000 when it comes to splashing out on a first car. Most buy second hand, although 6% of drivers got lucky with a brand new car.