Kids go free

Almost three in five (59%) British parents with children aged 17-25 contribute financially to their child’s motoring costs, according to research revealed today by Kwik Fit.

The average contribution towards these motoring costs is £381 per year, resulting in a total annual cost to the nation’s parents of £2bn.

One in five parents (20%) say they will buy a car for their child or contribute towards their first car purchase, 16% help cover the cost of car maintenance including servicing and MOTs, 15% help with insurance costs, and 11% help fund any repairs after an accident.

When asking their parents for help with their motoring budget, young drivers would be wise to approach mum first. Mothers appear to be more generous, saying that on average they spend £396 on their child’s motoring, compared to £367 for dads.  Many parents spend a lot more than this – 9% say they spend more than £1,000 a year on their child’s motoring.

This financial support seems to continue long after a driver’s first years on the road.  43% of parents with 26-30 year old offspring say they still contribute to their child’s motoring budget, and over a third of parents (36%) with children aged 31-35 are still dipping into their own pockets.

When asked why they were willing to offer such generous contributions, over a third (35%) of parents said it was to ensure their child was driving a vehicle that they knew was safe.   Almost half (48%) said that they helped fund their child’s motoring expenses because they were unable to afford it themselves.

While motoring can be costly, it is vital that all drivers, but especially younger ones, do not cut corners that comprise their safety.  Kwik Fit is a founding supporter of the ‘New to the Road’ campaign, set up to improve the safety of young motorists, which gives drivers lots of advice on how to keep their costs down while staying safe.

Young drivers remain disproportionately likely to be involved in a road accident compared to other road users – and it is vital that they are given the education and advice to help reduce the number of collisions.

The campaign is also giving new drivers the chance to keep this year’s costs to a minimum by having their motoring costs paid for a year (they will just have to pay for fuel and tax). New to the Road supporters, Kwik Fit Insurance, will provide a year’s insurance cover; Goodyear, a new set of tyres; Kwik Fit will provide servicing and MOT, and RED Driving School will offer up to 20 hours of free driving lessons or advanced driver training.

The competition is open to anyone between the age of 16-24 who is yet to take their driving test, or who has passed their test in the last three years and can be entered at www.newtotheroad.co.uk/competition.  The competition closes on 30 June 2015.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said, ‘Becoming a motorist and passing the driving test is exciting, but it can also be expensive, particularly for young people who are unlikely to have much in the way of spare income. There’s often a temptation to cut corners to help bring costs down but this is likely to be at the expense of safety, so it’s good to see parents are keen to help cover these costs.

‘New to the Road is all about engaging with new and inexperienced motorists to arm them with the knowledge they need to stay as safe as possible on the road. We know that motoring costs can be a burden, particularly for new road users, so we’re offering advice to help make these costs more manageable.  And we would encourage any driver who is new to the road to enter the competition to win their motoring costs for a year.’