One in five young drivers forced off road as pandemic hits finances – poll

A fifth of young drivers have stopped using their car as the coronavirus pandemic has hit their finances, a new survey suggests.

Some 19% of motorists aged 17-24 say they have been forced off the road because of the impact of the virus, the poll commissioned by price comparison website comparethemarket.com found.

The survey of 2,091 UK adults also found 37% of young people expect to be made redundant or take a pay cut due to the crisis, with a third (33%) needing to ask for financial assistance from family or friends to help with the cost of running a car.

The Government is urging people to avoid public transport if possible and has listed driving as an alternative mode of travel.

Figures published by comparethemarket.com show drivers aged 17-24 pay an average of £2,370 to run a car in the first year, of which more than half is the cost of insurance.

The firm’s head of motor Dan Hutson said: “Driving is something that many of us will take for granted, particularly in areas across the country where commuting to work has to be done by car.

“The pandemic is seeing young people more financially squeezed than ever and this presents a real challenge for those that need a car to secure and hold a job.

“This is particularly important after the lockdown as car usage will likely increase as people avoid public transport.

“If commuting by car will become the new normal for many, it is essential that young people take steps to minimise their bills to avoid paying over the odds.”

AA president Edmund King said: “The coronavirus and lockdown has affected drivers in many ways.

“There is no doubt that younger drivers have been hit hard in an economic sense as job losses, reduced job opportunities and lack of overtime means they have less income to pay for their cars, and in particular their higher insurance premiums.

“Thousands of learner drivers have had to stop driving as lessons and tests have been cancelled. Now that some of the social distancing rules have been changed we believe there are safe ways of working so that lessons can resume safely.”

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