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Under-17s sports car challenge

It sounds like every teenager's dream - getting behind the wheel of a Lotus or a Maclaren sports car. Today that's just what teenagers, some as young as 11, have been doing on a racecourse in Wiltshire.

The event organised by the Under 17 Car Club was to try to better prepare them for life on the road and raise money for charity.

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Your views: Young drivers 'priced out'

You've been contacting us on our Facebook, about the high cost of driving. It seems fewer young drivers are getting behind the wheel. Here's some of your thoughts - and, remember, tell us what you think on our Meridian Facebook page.

I'm 17 and would rather spend £14 on a bus ticket than the £1500 odd it would to get me on the road. I'm not driving because although I would live to its just not worth the cost.

– Henry Ellison

The only way i can afford my insurance is by being a named driver on my dads insurance!

– Becca Field, from Kent

Lessons are around £20 a time, say 10 lessons - at least - that's £200; then theory test is £30ish - I can't remember how much test was but say £70. Then a car, mine was £3000 for a 1.3 ka. And my insurance was £1400 aged 18. That's a total of £4700!!! If it wasn't for my family being so generous for my birthday I wouldn't be driving!! It's a joke.

– Amy Shrives, from Chichester

Motoring costs mean fewer behind the wheel

Fewer young drivers are taking their test Credit: PA Images

The high cost of insurance and the economic downturn means fewer young people are taking their driving tests. The numbers have dropped almost a fifth in the past five years.

The Department for Transport says the number of 17 to 19-year olds taking their practical driving tests has gone down 18 per cent since 2007. The number of people in their 20s taking their tests has dropped more than 10 per cent.

Even among young people who have passed their tests, data show the number with access to cars has been waning, while those who do have cars appear to be driving fewer miles each week. The decline has been sharper among young men than young women.

While car insurance prices for 50-somethings have risen 20 per cent since 2010, those for drivers aged between 17 and 22 have soared more than 80 per cent, figures from the AA show

Even youngsters who shop around can now expect to pay more than £1,600 a year on average - but the chances are, they'll pay much more than that.

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