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Young drivers steer towards mum & dad to 'af-ford' first car

The Co-operative Insurance reveals young drivers steer towards mum & dad to 'af-ford' first car

Thanks to generous mums and dads, today’s young drivers are steering away from “old bangers” and driving smarter, more up-to-date cars.

According to a report issued today (20.05.14) by The Co-operative Insurance, young drivers’ tastes are far more sophisticated than those of previous generations with the most popular first car in Britain now being a black Ford Fiesta** that costs on average £2,119.

The rise in the budget for a youngster’s first set of wheels is due to supportive parents paying for their children’s first cars with over a quarter (27%) of young drivers admitting that their parents funded their first car.

This is in stark comparison to only 1 in 10 of those over the age of 55 who received help from their parents. The research also shows that an average first car for a young driver today is £1,225 more expensive than the average cost of their parent’s first car.

Another sign of the times shows that for the first time, mums have over-taken dads as the parent responsible for teaching their children how to drive. Over a third (36%) of young drivers turn to their mum for help with extra lessons, with only 32% opting for their dad. This compares dramatically with the results for those over 55 which show that nearly a third took lessons off their dad with only 5% going out on the roads with their mothers.

Not everyone can rely on the bank of mum and dad, but despite the decreasing number of young drivers who have saved for their first car (43% in comparison to 47% for their parent’s generation), the number paying with a loan or on credit card has also fallen to 4%, compared with 9% for those a generation older.

However, the cost of motoring has fallen for some young drivers. The Co-operative Insurance launched a pioneering Young Driver telematics scheme three years ago, which was a breakthrough for young motorists because it bases premiums on how they drive instead of on how their general age group drives.

Steve Kerrigan, Young Driver Manager at The Co-operative Insurance says; “From our experience, parents are playing an increasingly active role in their children’s driving, largely due to the cost, but also because parents want peace of mind that their child will be as safe as possible on the roads. Our telematics product enables both the driver and their parents to monitor how that person is driving. Perhaps more importantly, it helps educate them on mistakes they make behind the wheel and gives them guidance on how they can drive more safely.

“Better still, the scheme is really working. Not only are Young Driver premiums cheaper than the national average, 87% of drivers received a discount in their first year. Customers with a Smart Box are also 20% less likely to be involved in an accident than those with standard insurance.”

The Co-operative Young Driver Insurance has recently launched an updated version of their customer dashboard. The refreshed dashboard has brand new features available that allow drivers to provide feedback and engage with their insurer. It also provides environmental checks and updates drivers on their carbon emissions, as well as providing videos on how to look after their car. It also means that customers can access their dashboard on their mobiles or tablets.


Notes to Editors

The research was carried out by One Poll who surveyed 2,000 UK adults across the country (563 were aged between 17-25).

*License holders between 17 and 25


**Most Popular ‘First Cars’

Young Drivers (17 – 25 years old) Parents (45 – 54 years old) Grandparents (55+)
1) Ford Fiesta
1) Mini
1) Mini
2) Vauxhall Corsa
2) Ford Fiesta
2) Ford
3) Peugeot 306
3) Volkswagen Polo
3) Volvo
4) Ford KA
4) Peugeot 306
4) Volkswagen
5) Renault Clio
5) Vauxhall Corsa
5) Mazda

Most popular first car colour:

Young Drivers (17-25 years old)    
Parents (45 – 54 years old)
Grandparents (55+)
Red Blue


For further information on The Co-operative Insurance telematics product, please visit –

For further information please contact

Jenny Long
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 0161 767 4254
Email :


20 May 2014