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True costs of first year on the road revealed. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

True costs of first year on the road revealed
IAM calls for increased driver training after research shows the true cost of your first year as a motorist.
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Before they have even put fuel into the car or carried out basic maintenance young drivers are likely to pay over £12,000 for their first year of motoring. That's according to latest research from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). Male drivers in particular, being the highest risk on the road, are likely to pay nearly two thirds of their yearly salary just for insurance, though new legislation that makes it illegal for insurance companies to discriminate on the grounds of gender will see female drivers' premiums rise significantly.

"The average cost of a claim by young drivers is £4,500, but insurance can cost nearly twice that," said IAM chief executive Simon Best. "This will have an effect on road safety because young drivers are consequently unlikely to afford newer and safer vehicles."

The IAM is calling for a post-test training scheme that would see newly qualified drivers subject to 12 to 18 months of assessment and training including handling in the wet, speed into corners and the impact of speed on stopping distances. A similar scheme implemented in Austria has seen a drop of 30 percent in the number of fatalities involving young drivers.

"Where drivers can demonstrate that post-test training reduces their risk, the insurance industry needs to respond with lower premiums."

As part of its research the IAM found that the average insurance costs for a five-year-old Kia Picanto would be £7,900. When you consider the average wage for a 18-21 driver is £14,400 any chance to reduce the car insurance premium would undoubtedly be welcomed.

Paul Healy - 27 Sep 2011

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