Young Londoners spend the most on their first set of wheels

New drivers spend an average of £3,005 on their first car but young London drivers spend £1000 more on average than those in the rest of the country

The average amount of money spent on buying a new driver’s first car is now £3,005, according to research* from GoCompare Car Insurance. However, the study also revealed big regional differences in what new drivers spend on their first set of wheels.

It seems that houses aren’t the only thing Londoners pay more for. New drivers from the capital are the biggest spenders, splashing out an average of £4,163 for their first car, whilst new drivers in Wales paid the least, spending an average of £2,310. With the second highest spenders, from the East Midlands, paying on average £3,109, it means that new drivers in London spend a third more for their first cars than those from anywhere else in the country.


Average spent on young drivers’ first cars

1st - London


2nd – East Midlands


3rd – East of England


4th – West Midlands


5th – North West


6th – South West


7th – Northern Ireland


8th - Scotland


9th – South East


10th – North East


11th – Yorkshire & The Humber


12th - Wales



What to buy?

A search of the What Car? Classifieds found that for under the £3,005 average, new drivers could buy a variety of cars, suitable for first time drivers. These included;

  • A 2007, Renault Clio 1.2, Rip Curl with 45,000 miles on the clock for £2,891
  • A 2008 Ford Ka with 50,000 miles on the clock for £1,995
  • A 2010 Vauxhall Corsa with 63,000 miles on the clock for £2,491

However, buying a car is one thing, running it is another. Considering the insurance costs of the cars available, some are more affordable than others. We found the following cheapest quotes for an 18 year old driver paying a £400.00 total combined compulsory and voluntary excess and driving up to 7000 miles a year. All of the cheapest premiums returned were for ‘telematics’ policies.

In London:

  • A 2007, Renault Clio 1.2 – Annual premium of £1521.05
  • A 2008 Ford Ka - Annual premium of £1345.12

In Wales:

  • A 2007, Renault Clio 1.2 – Annual premium of £1460.10
  • A 2008 Ford Ka - Annual premium of £1299.24

Matt Oliver,  from GoCompare Car Insurance said: “Buying your first car can be very exciting, but the shine can quickly wear off if you struggle to meet the costs of ownership. Car insurance is usually the highest cost aside from the cost of the car itself and in some cases the first annual premiums young drivers pay can be more than the value of the car.

“Unfortunately, young drivers face some of the highest premiums, and while things like choosing a car with a smaller engines can make a big difference in the cost of insurance, it’s very unlikely that a 17 year old will receive quotes that are less than £1,000.

“That said there are legitimate ways new drivers can help reduce their premiums. For instance, all of the cheapest premiums returned in the comparison of insurance policies for these cars were ‘telematics’ policies. As well as frequently being cheaper from the outset, ‘black box’ policies can also potentially accelerate premiums to fall faster than with a traditional policy, if the driver demonstrates that they are safe behind the wheel.”

GoCompare has produced a guide to learner and new drivers' car insurance: and a checklist to help younger drivers keep their premiums down:

Choose a sensible car - Young drivers’ insurance premiums will be lower if they drive a standard car with a small engine (under 1000cc) in a low insurance group. It may not be a supercar but it makes sense to drive something smaller and slower until they’ve built up some no claims bonus and have shown a safe driving record. Also, avoid cars with modifications, as they can push the price of insurance up.

Consider opting for a higher excess – This may lower your premium but you will need to decide if paying a slightly lower premium is worth the risk of having to contribute more towards the cost of a claim if you have an accident.

Thought about a ‘telematics’ policy? – Some policies require your car to be fitted with a ‘black box’ transmitter and others do a similar job with a smart phone app. In both cases the idea is that your driving is monitored by the insurer and your premiums can come down faster than with a traditional policy if you prove to be a safe driver.

Added extras – consider whether you really need added extras such as a courtesy car, legal assistance, breakdown cover and key cover. Some policies include these types of cover as standard or as add-ons but they’re not free – the cost will be built into the premium so you may be able to save money by removing them or choosing a different policy without all the whistles and bells.

Adding a safe driver – Adding another named driver with a clean licence and several years claim free driving to a young driver’s policy could reduce their premium. This is one way a parent can help their child to get lower premiums without breaking the law.

Drive safely – By being careful on the road you will avoid accidents, fines and penalty points, all of which will affect your insurance premium.


For further information please contact: 

Anders Nilsson or Martyn John at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 654 725 

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845 

Keep up-to-date with the GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare 

Notes to editors: 

*Between the 8th and 14th February 2017 One Poll conducted an online survey among 1000 randomly selected British adults with children aged between 17 and 25 who can drive. 

 About GoCompare 

GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs. 

GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site. 

GoCompare does not sell its customers’ data. 

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance.  

GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover. 

GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

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Contact Information

Martyn John

PR & Social Media Manager

01633 654725