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Motor Mistress
If it's car related, I'm on it!
If it's car related, I'm on it!


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Latest CAP Automotive blog!

Driving habits - then and now:

So many changes have happened in the last thirty or forty years or so when it comes to driving.

Society has changed in many ways; some have been significant and some slipped into our daily lives almost unnoticed. I thought I’d look at some of the changes to our cars.

I’m not talking about actual cars – of course, technology has evolved massively in this area – I am talking about cultural changes that have changed perceptions, habits and even laws...

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*Are car costs pricing teenagers out of driving?*

When you add up all the expense of car costs, is it any wonder today’s young people seem less keen on driving?

I remember when I was 17 years old – I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel and learn to drive.

I had already saved my money and pre-booked a rather unsuitably named “crash course” to start on my actual birthday.

Six weeks later my Mum and Dad were waving me off rather frantically from the drive. They told me later that they were trying to tell me that I had forgotten to turn my lights on. I have to say, how I actually passed my test I will never know (I even managed to swerve during the examination; I still think I passed because it was the end of the month). But I remember how happy I was driving off into the night in my little old Mini.

But enough nostalgia (it’s making me feel old, anyway). It seems that times are changing – why are so many teenagers not as eager to learn to drive nowadays? Back in the day, passing your test was a rite of passage. It was just something that you did.

The teenage car costs ‘money trap’

With the minimum wage nowhere near the living wage, and families often struggling to make ends meet, driving lessons are not always a top priority for their sons and daughters.

Young people who are in employment are pretty much guaranteed to be on a low wage at the age of seventeen, or they may stay in the education system which pretty much rules out having any spare cash to pay for lessons.

Even if they do manage to pay for the lessons and pass (don’t forget there is the theory exam now, too), they then have to put a car on the road, run it and pay for insurance. So let’s take a little look at that and consider for one moment how difficult it is for the youth of today (who aren’t helped out by the bank of Mum and Dad) to afford those car costs:

Buying a car outright is expensive for youngsters, and leasing one is usually not an option unless individuals have an employment history for a certain amount of time (usually three years).

Car Costs – Insurance for teenagers

Insurance is another major stumbling block – it is just so expensive. And borrowing Mum and Dad’s car isn’t always an option, particularly if their parents’ car is not a small, ‘teenage friendly’ vehicle, as insurance isn’t affordable.

Car costs – day-to-day running

Running a car is more than just insuring it and buying it. It’s fueling it and maintaining it, too – older vehicles that are most likely to be within a teenager’s price-range usually do far less miles to the gallon than newer, more reliable and economical models.

Kids of today

Now this is where I get to sound like an old nag – kids just don’t seem as motivated to learn to drive as they did years ago. I don’t think that this is just down to the fact that it’s perhaps not affordable (after all, that shouldn’t stop their ambition).

I think that a large part of the apathy is because the new generation has been brought up differently; we wrap our little darlings in cotton wool from the day they are born. We drive them everywhere – no buses or walking home alone until they are old enough to not be in danger.

Unless they go off to university, they also stay at home for longer – although this is usually due to money issues, I am sure that everything being done for them, in a lot of cases, is also a very good reason to stay put.

So why, oh why, do our teenagers actually need to drive at all?

Kids, we know that it’s hard and may be out of your financial grasp right now but don’t give up, motivate yourself and do your best to learn to drive as early as you can. The longer you leave it, the harder it will get.

And insurance companies: cut our teenagers some slack. We were all young once.

See more at:

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Don't miss my latest @CAPAutomotive blog: Last 5 Car leasing & buying more tricks 
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