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The Automotive Bank of Mum and Dad

The Automotive Bank of Mum and Dad

Most people of a certain generation will most likely remember one particular Inbetweeners episode in which Simon’s family buy him his first car – a bright yellow Fiat Cinquecento, and a lot of us would have had a similar experience after learning to drive. In your teens and twenties, getting enough cash together to buy a car and pay for ongoing maintenance, like MOTs and repairs, can be tough. Step forward the automotive bank of mum and dad to bail out UK youngsters.

Bristol Street Motors carried out a survey to find out just how much the bank of mum and dad helps out young people between the ages of 18 and 34.

Key Findings

  • Parents help more than half of young people buy their car.
  • Young men get less help when purchasing a new car than their female counterparts.
  • 14% of 18-24-year-olds have their car insurance paid for by a parent.
  • Over 10% of parents save their kids £1,170 per year in operating costs, such as MOTs and services.
  • Some parents also help their children out with car maintenance, such as oil changes and battery replacements, costing up to £250 per year.

Parents helped more than half of young people buy their car

How much did your parents contribute towards buying your car?

Amount

Percentage

£0

47%

£1,000

10%

£2,000

12%

£5,000

15%

£10,000

7%

£20,000

9%

*Data includes 18-34-year-olds surveyed.

More than half of UK parents help their children out when buying a car. Of the parents who contribute, the amount they normally help out with is £5,000, or around the price of a 2012 Volkswagen Polo. A Polo would certainly make a better starter car than a Fiat Cinquecento, that’s for sure.

Of course, the amount that parents help out with won’t necessarily be the total value of the car they choose, with money from part-time jobs and summer work also potentially contributing as a teenager, and money from a first job contributing as a young adult to the grand total of the car. Many, however, fund their first car entirely on their own, with nearly half of young adults (47%) saying they didn’t receive any help.

Staggeringly, 16% of those surveyed received over £10,000 as a contribution towards their automotive pursuits – brave on the parents’ part, considering all the scrapes and bumps a first or even second car can be susceptible to.

Young men get less help when purchasing a new car than their female counterparts

How much do your parents contribute towards your car insurance?

Gender

Amount

Percentage

Male

£5,000+

24%

Female

£5,000+

38%

*Data segmented between male and female, aged 18-34.

Our data also revealed that female motorists between the ages of 18-34 are more likely to receive substantial help (£5,000+) when purchasing a car than male motorists. 38% of female motorists said that they had received at least £5,000 when purchasing a car compared to only 24% of male drivers.

One in five young adults get help paying their car insurance

How much do your parents contribute towards your car insurance?

Insurance Contribution

Percentage

 

Some (20 – 80%)

9%

All

14%

*Data includes 18-34-year-olds.

When it comes to car insurance, over 20% of 18–24-year-olds surveyed are helped out with parents contributing to the cost every month, which can be quite substantial for a young driver. MoneySupermarket estimates that the average cost for third party, fire and theft car insurance for a driver aged between 17-24 to be £2,204 per year – out of reach for many young people. Over 10% of young motorists enjoy cost-free car insurance, courtesy of the automotive bank of mum and dad.

Our data also showed that as young drivers get older, parents generally expect them to begin paying for their own car insurance. Only 8% of parents contribute to their children’s car insurance between the ages of 25-34, compared to 23% of parents who have children between 18-24.

More than one in ten parents pay for their children’s MOT and servicing costs

Which of the following car costs do your parents pay for you?

Car Costs

Percentage

MOT

11%

Service

11%

Repairs

8%

Warranty

8%

Breakdown Cover

8%

*Data includes 18-34-year-olds.

Once the car and insurance are paid for, a car can be quite expensive to run. There are MOTs, services, repairs and breakdown cover to pay for to ensure that your car is road legal and safe. Our survey has revealed that 11% of parents also step in here and pay for their children’s MOT and servicing costs. In addition, 8% cough up for their repairs, warranty and breakdown cover.

If you’re lucky enough to have parents that are willing to contribute to the running costs we’ve outlined above, they’ll be saving you a grand total of £1,170 per year.

A lucky few get the full service, with parents carrying out their car maintenance

Which of the following car maintenance do your parents do for you?

Car Maintenance

Percentage

Oil Change

8%

Tyre Pressure Check

5%

Windscreen Wiper Replacement

7%

Battery Replacement

5%

Clean Your Interior

3%

Wash Your Car

5%

 

Even after contributing to the cost of the car and insurance, along with MOTs and servicing costs, some parents even go as far as helping their children with carrying out essential maintenance for them. Between 5-8% of parents told us that they regularly change the oil of their children’s car, along with a tyre pressure check, replacing the windscreen wipers and even cleaning their interior.

This would cost over £250 if each type of maintenance was carried out annually. That’s a big saving for young drivers - thanks mum and dad!

Make sure to bookmark the Bristol Street Motors news page for other automotive content, including our recently published research into the readiness of the UK’s national parks to receive an influx of visitors with electric vehicles over the coming years.