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One In Five Young Adults Think Parents Should Pay For Their Driving Lessons

As the cost of living crisis continues to impact homes across the UK , a new study reveals the country’s views on who should pay for driving lessons.

Research conducted by Regtransfers has revealed a significant trend in British attitudes towards funding young adults’ driving education. Surveying 1,000 adults across the country, an overwhelming 87% revealed that they believe parents should contribute toward the costs associated with their children learning to drive.

What’s more, 22% of those aged between 18-24 said they believed parents should pay for all of their driving lessons, with no financial involvement on their part. A further 29% of young adults said they felt parents should pay for the majority of the costs.

One third of all survey respondents advocated for a balanced financial responsibility, suggesting a fifty-fifty split between parents and their 17-year-old offspring for driving lessons, while a quarter felt it should be the same when it came to purchasing their first vehicle.

The study also showed a significant decline in financial independence over generations. Among respondents who had passed their driving test, 60% of those aged 65+ said they had funded their lessons independently, compared with only 10% of those aged 18-24. A similar decline occurred when exploring the financial arrangements in purchasing a first car, with only one in five young adults aged 18-25 managing to buy their first car without parental support, compared with 64% of adults over 65.

Commenting on the findings, Elliott Allen, an Independent Financial Adviser at Advanta Wealth, acknowledges the post-Covid economy, rising inflation and mortgage rates as exacerbating the financial pressures on families.

“Things are tough at the moment, and the cost of independence has risen significantly over generations, meaning it’s harder to meet the many financial responsibilities we all face. The costs involved in driving lessons, buying a first car, university fees, buying property and so on have all increased at rates that exceed wage increases.

Additionally, the focus of young adults has developed over time. In the 80s, approximately 14% of the population went to university, while many sought their first jobs. In 2023, this figure was roughly 35%, excluding any further studies at specialist colleges. This means around 21% extra 18-21 year olds are going to university now. Ultimately, though focusing on higher education is undeniably beneficial for many in the long run, financial independence becomes more difficult during these years.”

Allen continues to offer his thoughts on how parents – and their children can alleviate some of the financial burden of learning to drive:

“It is entirely individual whether parents would like to get involved in paying for their child’s driving lessons or first cars. Everyone is going to have different opinions, circumstances and values when it comes to money. For those parents who do want to help their children, the best and most simple advice is to start saving from an early age.

There are products on the market, such as a Junior ISA, which parents can contribute towards. Once your child turns 18, they will have access to the funds, and if you’ve been contributing little and often to this fund, you will have generated a good financial platform for them. People often under-estimate the value of time, and starting as early as possible gives the greatest impact of compound interest for any savers accounts available.”

Commenting on the study’s overall findings, Regtransfers CEO Mark Trimbee states:

“Our study suggests that Brits feel a strong sense of “parental duty” to support their children in taking steps toward learning to drive, and the evidence shows it’s become progressively more common for them to alleviate at least some of the financial pressures involved. Still, the level of commitment involved in saving for such an expense certainly serves as a strong and valuable life lesson for young adults – one of patience and financial responsibility.

Ultimately, how a family chooses to support one another is down to individual values and circumstances. Not everyone is going to show support in the same way, but what can be said, with certainty, is that you never forget passing your test, buying your first car and making it your own!”

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Methodology The study is based on an independent survey of 1,000 British adults, representative of the national demographic. Full data can be found here: About Regtransfers Regtransfers, the UK’s premier private number plate supplier, boasts over four decades of industry expertise. Founded in 1982 by Tony Brown, the company is officially registered with the DVLA and offers a vast selection of over 50 million personalised registration plates.

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