Revealed: how much teenagers spend on their first car

Published: 09 August 2019

► Average cost of first car revealed
► New research by
► Most parents stump up for kids 

New research has revealed that the average spend for a first car has topped £3400, as teenagers and young drivers move up to a different class of wheels.

It suggests that the days of the outright banger may be numbered, as young motorists pick up the keys for newer, younger models.

The research by our sister website found that British parents spend an average of £3410 on their child’s first car. One in six parents bought their progeny’s car outright, while many others chip in for their children’s first vehicle.

Car-buying bible Parkers also found that 44% of parents went on to help with the insurance too, reflecting the sky-high premiums often quoted for young drivers.

See the full Parkers first-car research

Typical first car for young drivers: UK behaviours revealed 

Parkers surveyed 2000 parents in the UK and found that 80% of youngsters’ first vehicles were secondhand, with the average being nine years old. 

Learner drivers: are first cars getting smarter?

According to the survey, 414,000 Brits aged under 21 passed their driving test in the past year.

Editor Keith Adams said: ‘The research shows just how much is spent on new cars for first-time drivers. It’s amazing to see just what parents are prepared to spend on their children so they can experience the independence of driving.

‘Parents obviously want their kids to be safe when out on the roads alone so we know researching the perfect first-time vehicle is a lengthy and often confusing process. A first car is something we all remember – from the colour to its maker – and is likely to affect the car choices we make in the future.’

Children in London received the biggest contribution from their parents, averaging £4351, compared with mums and dads in the south west, where the average parental contribution was £2678.

The best car for first-time drivers and learners: our sister website CarZing

More motoring issues and news

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet