First cars are more than £1,000 cheaper for young drivers than they were for their grandparents, according to new research.
The average spend on a first car today is £4,627 compared with £6,026 (after inflation) in the 1960s, car classified ad website CarGurus said.
Analysis of car prices in recent decades found that people who started driving in the 1990s secured the lowest first car prices, at an average of just £3,264.
The most popular model for first cars has varied from the Morris Minor in the 1950s, the Mini in the 1970s and the Ford Ka since 2010.
Just over half (56%) of drivers aged 18-34 paid for their first car with their own money.
Almost two-thirds (63%) of young people buy a second-hand model to get on the road for the first time, compared with 91% of their grandparents' generation.
CarGurus spokesman James Drake said: "We were surprised to find that new drivers today spend less on their first vehicle than their grandparents did.
"It would seem that the UK's large used car market is helping first drivers to acquire more affordable vehicles, such as the Ford Ka, which is currently the number one first car of choice.
"While there is a growing trend for new cars amongst first time buyers, probably because of finance deals, there remains a significant proportion of young people funding their first car purchase on their own."