Getting on the road

The Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM) has estimated that it costs £12,000 to get a teenage driver on the road.

And given that the average salary of a 17-year-old is £9,300 per year, it's obvious who foots the lionshare of that bill.

The huge cost takes into account driving lessons, the driving test, insurance, tax and the MOT, and the average price of a teenager's first car.

The difference in cost between buying a car and having it insured is worth noting: it's £5,000. And it's the insurance that is costing more than the car, not the other way around.

The IAM quotes a £7,900 annual premium for a 17-year-old male driving a £3,000 Kia Picanto.

At the moment, girls are less expensive to insurance, given that statistically they are a better bet not to have an accident, but from 2012 it will become illegal for insurance companies to price their premiums on the basis of gender.

The IAM's Simon Best believes that the high premiums actual run counter to driver safety, as it means that young, male drivers cannot afford newer and safer cars. 'It also affects their chances of getting a job, especially in rural areas where a car is essential to get to work,' he says.

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