If numbers compiled by the Institute of Advanced Motorists are accurate, you better start a successful Internet business as a teenager in the UK if you want to afford your first year of driving. In the guise of the "average" 17-year-old male driving a 2007 ("57-plate" in UK parlance) Kia Picanto economy car, the IAM discovered that a year behind the wheel would run a staggering £11,500 ($17,890 U.S.).
While every single fee but the price of the car was more expensive than those American teens encounter, the insurance premium stood like Everest above the others. Driving lessons were £1,128 ($1,755 U.S.), the driving test was £100 ($156 U.S.), the Picanto rang up at £3,000 ($4,667 U.S.), and road tax and MOT (Ministry of Transport) fees came out to £180 ($280 U.S.). Insurance for Mr. Teen for one year, though, required £7,091 ($12,292 U.S.). That's a year of college – at a pretty good college. And we haven't even got to the inevitable accidents, speed camera tickets and parking infractions.

Said an IAM executive, "When insurance premiums match university tuition fees, innovative thinking is needed." Or perhaps a few years abroad: the average annual cost of insurance for a Ford Ka MkII for a 17-to-20-year-old is a paltry £1,651 ($2,569) by comparison.


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  • 60 Comments
      fbmagik
      • 3 Years Ago
      Being from the UK, I would agree yeah it is expensive. But prices have escalated in the passed few years for whatever reason. I passed my test and got a car approximately 8 years ago and I reckon it cost around £2000 in total, including money for the car (wasn't a nice care though). Premiums quickly come down very quickly with age. It's almost like they are trying to put young drivers off at first. Plus, mentioning something from the article. £7000 to get insured on a Kia Picanto!!! I seriously doubt that. Probably more likely to be around the £2000-£3000 mark. Driving lessons won't be quite that much either. It is around £20-£22 an hour for 30-40 hours. So around the £700 or £800 mark. It is expensive, but your article is way off.
        creamwobbly
        • 3 Years Ago
        @fbmagik
        I don't believe that 2-3k amount. It just isn't that much extra for a named driver.
      creamwobbly
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Driving lessons were £1,128 ($1,755 U.S.), the driving test was £100 ($156 U.S.), [...] , and road tax and MOT (Ministry of Transport) fees came out to £180 ($280 U.S.)." Those are the same for everyone. The test is comprehensive but straightforward. You shouldn't really *need* lessons, but even with lessons, many young drivers take three or more attempts. The road tax pays for roads and ensures the car is roadworthy (car has to be less than 3 years or pass an MoT roadworthiness test). That figure for insurance is stupid. You just start out as a named driver on a parent or guardian's insurance policy. And why the heck would you need your own car? It's not a realistic article.
      Hernan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Top Gear did this a while back - the premiums were insane then too.
        creamwobbly
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hernan
        Yes and they got insured for far less by being named drivers on their "parents'" insurance policy.
      xor.be
      • 3 Years Ago
      And thats why junior is always added to the family insurance as an extra, occasional driver for the newly registered car which has totally nothing to do with junior
      NissanGTR
      • 3 Years Ago
      They are realistically paying $7,091. Not this failed math ab formula of $12k.
      Alexander
      • 3 Years Ago
      Your license is not going to do you much good sitting on the shelf for 8 years. Age doesn't equal experience if you can't get behind the wheel. Furthermore, I think insurance premiums for new drivers should be reasonable until you have an accident, not astronomical from the start. In an ideal world, insurance companies should assume you are a good driver until you prove them otherwise, not the other way around.
      AldenBiesen
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've always known the UK was quite expensive in many things but this is ludicrous... Although now I get why I always see so many uninsured drivers on that British reality cop show they air here called Road Warriors. Blimey.
      KWMJR
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder what they charge seniors?
      Andrew
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't live in the UK AND I'm not a teen s I don't care not relevent!
      Winsom Cash
      • 3 Years Ago
      eventually, those live in the socialist Europe will all be riding bicycles, and "commies" in China will be all driving cars......LOL
        Quen47
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Winsom Cash
        Or maybe since going to college- even Oxford and Cambridge- is basically free in much of Europe, they can recoup their costs for driving there. LOL
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Winsom Cash
        [blocked]
          Anders
          • 3 Years Ago
          You are one serious moron. This is not a tax and it's the result of a FREE market for insurance premiums! Oh, and the most successful economies in Europe are heavily socialist; Germany, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. Look it up you know-nothing-amateur.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        fbmagik
        • 3 Years Ago
        Not really relevant but I don't think so either. A third world country, as it starts to grow will become more of a consumer nation. Things will start to balance rather than cause another nattion to become a third world. I also think Americas economy is looking worse than some European countries.
        Walt
        • 3 Years Ago
        IT IS TRULY AMAZING TO HEAR WHAT YOU SAID FRIED_RICE, APPARENTLY YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN TO EUROPE, I AM GLAD YOU ARE A RIGHT WINGER, MAKES ME FEEL BETTER ABOUT MY LIFE....I KEEP THINKING ABOUT WHAT YOU SAID, IT IS STAGGERING.....TO BELIEVE YOU ACTUALLY SAID THAT, BUT AGAIN THIS IS LIVING PROOF THAT MOST OF THE TEA PARTY THINKERS ARE D- STUDENTS IN LIFE.....
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Walt
          [blocked]
        Ron & Dolores
        • 3 Years Ago
        I do not know what world you live in, you must live in a closet. The USA will be a 3rd world power within 5 years, so will England . Any country that has moved its manufacturing base out of the country and depends on imports only are only 3rd & 4th generation countrys. If you want to see superpowers in the future, better look at China, Russia or India
        Anders
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's amusing how clueless you are, troll.
      nickthaskater
      • 3 Years Ago
      How many times must it be said that direct conversion does not work? Listing the USD "equivalents " is as pointless as it is misleading. Fact of the matter is that most things in the UK cost the same as they do for Americans, dollar for dollar and pound for pound. What costs $299 USD in America generally costs £299 in the UK.
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