Young drivers with automatic-only licences pay £760 more for car insurance

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Drivers under 25 who have automatic-only licences paid £760 more on average for a year's car insurance compared to those with a full licence, according to 2023 data from Compare the Market.

Young drivers with a full UK licence paid £2,043 in the year to January 2024, while those only able to drive an automatic car paid £2,803, the price comparison site said.

The number of people learning to drive in an automatic vehicle has also increased massively in the last decade, according to the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Agency.

In 2007-8, 70,429 driving tests were taken in automatic cars, but that figure jumped to 324,064 tests in 2022-23, which is an increase of more than 360% over the course of 15 years.

Both have seen a dramatic increase in cost compared to the previous 12-month period, when an automatic-only licence holder paid £1,887 on average, and a full licence holder paid £1,397.

Driving costs for under 25s have spiked across the board, with car insurance now representing around 66% of the total running costs for young drivers.

Running a car now costs £3,043 on average for a young person, Compare the Market found, which is a 25% increase on the year to January 2023.

Three in 10 drivers found it difficult to cover the cost of driving, and more than four in 10 drivers said they expected they would need to take on additional debt, such as loans or credit cards, to keep up with the costs.

Julie Daniels, motor insurance expert at Compare the Market, said the sharp increase in costs could make driving "prohibitively expensive" for lots of young people.

"If the cost of driving continues to increase, it may force some young motorists off the road," she warned.

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