Car ownership a ‘rite of passage’ for teenage drivers
by David Masters
More than two-thirds of drivers aged between 18 and 24 owned their first car as a teenager, research by AA Insurance has discovered.
This is compared to just 28% of drivers aged over 65 who owned their first car in their teens.
As well as buying cars at a younger age, newly qualified drivers are buying more powerful vehicles, pushing up their insurance premiums, the AA said.
“The cars they are buying tend to be more powerful than they used to be,” said Simon Douglas, AA Insurance director.
“This contributes to higher accident rates and thus higher premiums.”
Douglas explained why insurance premiums are especially high for young male drivers, and said it has little to do with the value of the car.
“Owning a car seems to be a ‘rite of passage’ for young men,” he said.
“Unfortunately, one out of every five will also experience a serious accident within their first year of driving.
“Young men are twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision than young women and although the number of accidents on Britain’s roads is thankfully falling, the proportion suffered by young drivers is rising.
“Young men especially are likely to injure themselves, their passengers or other people when they lose control, with consequent personal injury claims and legal costs.”
Although young men see owning a car as a rite of passage, young women are more likely to be given their first car for free, the AA found.
A third of female drivers said they’d been given their first car, compared to just one in five (22%) male drivers.