According to young driver statistics, there are 2.8 million drivers aged 17-24 currently with a licence in the UK. Young people have been through a lot of late, with COVID lockdowns disrupting school and university, and now the cost of living crisis making life financially even harder. This means it has never been more important for young drivers to get a good deal on their car insurance.
To understand why young drivers have to pay more on insurance than their parents and grandparents, we’ve crunched the numbers and collated over a hundred young drivers insurance statistics.
On average, young drivers in London pay 43% more on their car insurance than the national average
Over a third (33.8%) of quote requests come from young drivers who own a car that is 11-15 years old
Young students pay £63 less on their car insurance than young skilled workers
Of all young drivers, 18-year-olds are quoted the most on their car insurance
Statistics about young drivers indicate that almost a third (31%) of drivers aged 17-20 have a licence, compared to 48% in 1992-94
The first-time pass rate for young drivers went above 50% for the first time in 2020-21
According to UK government data, young people aged between 17-24 account for around 7% of all full licence holders across the country.
DVLA licence figures state that there are 2.8 million drivers aged 17-24 in the UK, meaning 44% of people in this age group can drive. The driving licence rate of 17-24-year-olds is considerably lower than the rest of the adult population, with nearly double the percentage of people aged 40-49 (86%) having licences. An additional 2.1 million young car drivers have a provisional licence.
The percentage of young drivers on the road has fluctuated significantly over the years. In 1975-76, just over a quarter (28%) of people aged 17-20 had driving licences. After increasing to almost half (48%) in 1992-94, the number of young drivers in the UK then went into decline.
Despite the rate of licence holders increasing for older generations between 1994 and 2005, the number of licence holders aged between 17-20 dropped by close to 20%.
Another significant change is that in the 1970s, young drivers (17-20) were almost twice as likely to have a licence compared to people over 70. That figure has now reversed, with virtually two-thirds (67%) of people over 70 still possessing a licence, compared to just 31% of under 20s.
The average cost of insurance for new drivers is £1,335 per year. However, there are various factors that will lead to the price of this insurance fluctuating. Region, gender and even the age of the car can cause the price to rise and fall.
The accolade of having the highest car insurance price goes to London, where the typical young driver pays around £1,920. This is £371, or 23%, more than the amount quoted for the second-most expensive region for young drivers car insurance, Yorkshire and The Humber. The average insurance cost for new drivers in this region is £1,549. Other regions where car insurance was in excess of £1,500 were the North West (£1,547) and the West Midlands (£1,519).
|Region||Median average quote||% of total quote requests|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||£1,549.46||10.64%|
The South West is the cheapest region in the UK for young drivers insurance. Their average premiums of £949 make them the only place in the UK where young drivers pay less than £1,000 on average. In fact, they’re quoted less than half (49%) compared to their counterparts in London.
Statistics about young drivers show that the other regions which are among the cheapest for young drivers car insurance are:
North East (£1,256).
The region with the highest percentage of total quotes was the North West, home to over one in ten (12.51%) quote requests. This means that that is the region where the most quote requests come from. This is followed by the West Midlands (12.23%), the South East (12.13%), and Yorkshire and the Humber (10.64%).
London, which had the most expensive quotes, came out in fifth for total quote requests. The North West and West Midlands combined had more than double the number of requests.
Young drivers statistics reveal notable contrasts between young female and male drivers. Female drivers make up just three out of ten (30.43%) quotes, less than half as many as males.
|Gender||Median average quote||% of total quote requests|
Male vs. female car insurance rates show that female drivers are charged over a third less on their car insurance than their male counterparts. The median average quote for a young female driver is just £975, compared to £1,510 for male drivers. This means that young male drivers are paying 61% more than female drivers.
Among the different vehicle body styles, cabriolets have the lowest median average quote at just £673. Cabriolets, also known as convertibles are cars that can be driven with or without a roof. Their price was close to £150, or 18%, cheaper than the next most affordable, the coupe. A coupe is defined as a closed roof, two-door passenger car, also coupes cannot have an interior space greater than 33 cubic feet. The insurance cost for new drivers who own a coupe is £514 less than the average price of insurance for young drivers.
|Vehicle body style||Median average quote||% of total quote requests|
At the other end of the spectrum, young drivers of four-door saloons could expect to pay £1,896 in 2022-23 – more than three times that of cabriolet drivers. Car insurance by car type statistics also show that drivers of four-door saloons pay over twice as much as cabriolet drivers. Other types of car that cost the most to insure are:
two-door saloons (£1,732)
three-door estates (£1,597)
four-door estates (£1,536).
Statistics about young drivers show that five-door hatchbacks are the most common type of car amongst new drivers, with over half (50.53%) of quote requests coming for this type of car. Three-door hatchbacks followed closely behind with around three in 10 (29.73%) quote requests in 2022-23.
On the other hand, relatively few young drivers own a four-door saloon. They have a relatively low percentage of quote requests at just 7.13%. Meanwhile MPVs, two-door saloons, three-door estates, coupes, cabriolets and four-door estates each represented under one percent of total quote requests by younger drivers.
Regardless of the type of car, another factor that will affect the price of car insurance is whether the young driver has opted for comprehensive or third-party insurance.
Drivers of a BMW, Mercedes-Benz, or Audi can expect to pay the most on their car insurance. The average insurance cost for new drivers of a BMW is close to 60% more than that of Peugeot drivers.
|Vehicle make||Median average quote||% of total quote requests|
Young Mercedes-Benz drivers can expect to pay an average of £1,706, whilst Audi drivers would be charged £1,541. Mercedes-Benz drivers had to pay an estimated 27% more on their car insurance than the average young driver, with Audi drivers quoted 15% more. Luxury car brands come with higher insurance costs, due to factors like high repair costs and replacement expenses.
On the other hand, statistics about young drivers indicate that Peugeot, SEAT, Ford and Renault represent more affordable options for young drivers car insurance, with median average quotes ranging from £1,084 to £1,416. Out of all of them, the cheapest car to insure is a Peugeot.
Better safety ratings and lower repair costs make these cars an attractive proposition for younger drivers. Another factor that can affect the price is whether or not the car is an imported car.
Volkswagen was the most popular car with young drivers, gaining 14.23% of the quote requests in 2022-23. It was followed by Ford and Vauxhall at 13.24% and 13.15%, respectively.
Young drivers insurance statistics show that newer models of car tend to yield cheaper average car insurance costs.
|Vehicle age at quote request||Median average quote||% of total quote requests|
|-1 to 0||£1,054.07||1.31%|
|1 to 5||£1,144.94||17.69%|
|6 to 10||£1,252.11||31.08%|
|11 to 15||£1,416.06||33.88%|
|16 to 20||£1,496.35||13.27%|
|21 to 25||£1,625.31||1.76%|
|26 to 30||£1,778.17||0.53%|
|31 to 35||£1,848.77||0.28%|
|36 to 40||£1,620.59||0.07%|
|41 to 45||£1,245.94||0.04%|
|46 to 50||£1,088.44||0.04%|
|51 to 55||£1,165.70||0.03%|
The least expensive car for a young driver to insure is one that is brand new, with cars bought straight from the shop costing an average of £1,054. This is 43% less than a young driver with a 31-year-old car would have to pay.
From there, the amount that young drivers pay increases incrementally. Cars aged one to five years cost an average of £1,114. This then rises to £1,252 (12%) for cars aged to six to 10, before increasing again to £1,416 (13%) for cars aged between 11-15 years.
Young drivers of cars which are older than ten years would be well advised to get breakdown cover as well.
The average cost of car insurance for young drivers continues to rise with vehicle age, before peaking at 31 to 35. From that point onwards, the average steadily decreases. Once a car goes beyond 40 years old, the driver can apply for classic car insurance, which is why the median average quote goes down.
In all, just over a third (33.88%) of quote requests come from drivers of 11-15-year-old cars. Close behind, around three in 10 (31.08%) of quotes are from drivers of six to 10-year-old cars. Just 1.31% of young drivers request a car insurance quote for a brand new vehicle.
Job title has a significant impact on car insurance costs. Our data shows that young drivers in full-time education can expect to pay a fraction less on their car insurance (1.7%) than those in full-time employment.
|Primary employment status||Median average quote||% of total quote requests|
|Full-time education student||£1,330.05||30.81%|
|Not employed due to disability||£1,397.87||0.28%|
The young drivers who were quoted the most for their car insurance were the self-employed, who can expect to pay around £1,638 every year for car insurance. However, they make up just 4.95% of the young driver population.
Their median average quote for unemployed young drivers in 2022-23 was £1,609, meaning they would be paying close to a quarter (23%) more than drivers who are employed.
At the other end of the spectrum, the average insurance cost for young drivers whose primary occupation is in household duties paid the least. They were quoted just £1,397, which is close to a quarter (23.8%) less than if they’d been self-employed.
In 2022-23, the majority of our quote requests came from young drivers who were in full-time employment. They made up three-fifths (60.87%) of all quote requests for the year.
This was followed by young drivers who were in full-time education. Despite making up around a third (30.81%) of all quote requests, this was half the number of young drivers who were in full-time employment who sought a quote.
Self-employed drivers made up close to one in 20 (4.95%) of all quotes requested in 2022-23. Just 2.06% of all quote requests were made by unemployed young drivers.
Statistics about young drivers indicate that young people working in onsite construction tend to be quoted the highest amount on their car insurance. With an average of £1,732, this is more than twice as much as young drivers who work in the journalism industry or emergency services.
|Primary occupation category||Median average quote||% of total quote requests|
|Drivers - city||£1,573.00||1.35%|
|Drivers - motorway||£1,186.74||0.34%|
Other trades where young drivers pay more for their car insurance are:
Motor trade (£1,647)
Unskilled work (£1,631)
Drivers who work in the city (£1,573).
The average insurance cost for new drivers who are unemployed was around £261 (19%) more than the average cost of young drivers insurance.
In terms of number of quotes, close to a third (30.58%) of requests came from students. Part of the reason why they could get less expensive insurance was that they could apply for specialist student’s car insurance. The next highest was skilled workers, who made up one in 10 (10.76%) of quote requests in 2022-23. These were the only professions that garnered more than 10% of quote requests.
According to UK car insurance statistics, young drivers tend to pay more for their car insurance than their more experienced counterparts. But how much does the amount a young driver can expect to pay change as they get older? 17-year-olds are quoted less on their car insurance than 18-year-olds. Young drivers who are 18 were quoted, on average, £100 more than drivers who are a year younger.
|Person age at policy inception||Median average quote||% of total quote requests|
Statistics about the average cost of car insurance by age indicate that for 19-year-olds the amount they are quoted for dips slightly lower, to £1,568. The median average quote then continues to go down as drivers become more experienced. Between 18-24, young drivers can expect their car insurance costs to decrease by 43% in the space of six years behind the wheel. The price will decrease even more if a driver doesn’t use their no-claims bonus.
According to statistics about young drivers,19-year-olds put in the most quote requests, at 14.23%. However, they were quoted only 3.45% more than the least quoted age, which was 17-year-olds.
Young driver insurance statistics show that insurance companies typically charge less to customers that pay a year up-front, as opposed to month-by-month instalments.
|Payment method||Median average quote||% of total quote requests|
Young drivers can save over £200 by paying their car insurance in one annual payment, with the average annual cost of £1,231 around 16% lower than the annual costs for those who pay monthly (£1,464). The average cost of insurance for a new driver who pays annually, is £104 less than the average young driver.
This is perhaps the reason why 55.27% of quote requests in 2022-23 came from young drivers looking to pay annually, in comparison to 44.73% who take the monthly option.
Choosing the best insurance package for you and your car can be a minefield. That’s why we recommend reading one of our car insurance guides to give you a better idea of what you need.
UK young driver accident statistics show that in 2021, there were 78 young car driver deaths. This made up 16% of all deaths on UK roads. This is despite the fact that just 7% of drivers are under-24, effectively meaning that they are twice as likely to die in a road accident as older drivers.
More than 6,500 UK drivers were in serious car accidents, of which 1,201 were young car drivers (18%).
|Young Car Drivers||78||1,201||7,474||8,753|
|All Car Drivers||482||6,563||42,736||49,781|
|Percentage young car driver||16%||18%||17%||18%|
The percentage of young drivers involved in slight accidents does decrease as a proportion compared to older drivers, but only minimally to 17%. In 2021, young driver accident statistics show that there were 7,474 young car drivers in minor accidents, compared to 42,736 of all car drivers.
On the whole there were 8,753 young car drivers involved in an accident of any type, meaning that they were involved in 18% of all car accidents that year.
Fortunately, the number of young driver fatalities in the UK is decreasing. The number of young car drivers involved in reported road accidents has fallen significantly since its peak in the 1990s. Close to 90,000 young drivers were involved in accidents in 1990; by 2013 this figure had fallen by two-thirds to 30,000.
Young drivers statistics show that the number of fatal or serious accidents involving at least one driver under the age of 24 have consistently fallen year-on-year between 2004 and 2020. Casualties of passengers of young drivers have also gone down by 69% in a 17-year period, from 3,006 in 2004 to 926 in 2021.
Young drivers insurance statistics show that one in five drivers (20%) will have a major or minor crash within a year of passing. However, as young drivers become more competent their likelihood of being in an accident does reduce.
With more accidents, there are more claims. Young drivers under 25 have a claim rate that’s 27% higher compared to drivers over 25. On top of this, one in five accidents involving young adults have an injury claim, meaning that 30% of all claims are made by under-24s.
Unlike older drivers, young drivers will spend more of their time driving at night. Statistics about young drivers show that 6% of all miles driven by under-24s happen at night, compared to 3% for older drivers..
Most driving, across all age groups occurs during the day. 97% of all miles are driven between the times of 5am and 9:59 pm. Young drivers are no exception to this.
Around half of drivers aged 17-24 use their car to commute to work, with a further 10% using it to get to their place of education, whether that be school, college or university.
The fact that young people drive more at night than older drivers is evidenced again by the rate of accidents, particularly at weekends.
Although the most common time for an accident to occur for a young driver is at 5pm on a weekday, other leading times include:
7pm on a Saturday
12am on a Saturday morning
11pm on a Saturday night.
There were 25% more accidents on a Saturday compared to a weekday in 2021. In all, 8% of all accidents occur between the hours of 10pm on a Saturday night and 2am on a Sunday morning.
Road accidents occurred less often during the week compared to at the weekend. The least common time for a KSI accident to occur was at 4am on a weekday, just before the commuter rush. Only 0.2% of all accidents happened at this time.
Young drivers statistics show that a critical mass of young drivers are apprehensive about using motorways. More than four in 10 (41%) young people say they knew friends who were so nervous of using motorways, they refused to drive on them.
Just 7% of young drivers also admitted that they themselves avoided driving on motorways, compared to just 4% of over-65s.
Despite their fears around driving on motorways, road accident statistics suggest they are the safest type of road around for both older and younger drivers. Young driver death statistics show that just 4% of KSI (killed or seriously injured) casualties involving young drivers occur on the motorways. Young drivers are ten times less likely to be killed on a motorway than they are on a country road.
The same figure applies to older drivers. KSI incidents in Britain between 2016-20 were more than 10 times less likely to happen on motorways compared to rural and urban roads.
Based on the percentage of KSI collisions between 2016-20, the most dangerous UK roads for young drivers were those in a rural setting. Despite just 2.2 million young people living in rural areas, almost half (49%) of KSI collisions involving under 24-year-olds occurred on rural roads between 2016-20.
For older drivers, the respective figures are slightly different with a lower percentage of KSI collisions occurring on rural roads (42%). Instead, over half (52%) take place in urban areas, compared to less than half (47%) for young drivers.
Teenage drivers accident rates show that the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens aged 16-19 than it is for any other age group. The fatal crash rate of teenagers is almost three times higher than for drivers aged over 20.
Statistics about young drivers show that, in 2020, almost 1.5 million young males held a driving licence, compared to just 1.3 million young females. This means that approximately 52% of all young drivers are male.
UK male vs. female driving statistics also suggest that young male drivers tend to drive more often and further than female drivers. In 2013, young male car drivers travelled an average of 4,432 miles whereas young female car drivers travelled an average of 3,453 miles.
Since 2007, increasing numbers of young drivers are passing their driving test at the very first attempt. In 2007-08, just 43.3% of young drivers passed for the first time, yet this figure has steadily increased.
Between 2007-13, this figure rose by 4.4%. Between 2020-21 was the first time on record where more people passed their first driving test than failed.
|First attempts||First attempt passes||Pass %||First test with zero faults|
(Source: Drivers and Vehicles Standards Agency)
The number of drivers passing their driving test for the first time without any faults has also risen considerably. In 2007-08, the percentage of drivers who passed their first test was 0.5%. Yet by 2019-20, the rate had almost tripled, to 1.4%.
In 2020-21 the rate was even higher, with close to one in 50 (1.9%) passing their first test with zero faults.
Driving test pass rate data also shows that young drivers are far more likely to pass their first test than those who start later. The 17-20 age bracket was the only one where more test takers passed instead of failed (52%). After this, the pass rate for first time drivers taking their test at the age of 21-30 fell to just under 47%.
It went down again for ages 31-40, whose first time pass rate was close to 10% lower than that of 17 -20-year-olds.
As drivers get older the likelihood that they pass their first test diminishes. Drivers aged 41-49 were 13% less likely to pass than young drivers aged 17-20. The disparity widens even further, as drivers aged over 60 were 15% less likely to pass than their younger counterparts.
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