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Young Drivers Priced Off UK Roads as Costs Soar

UK motoring costs could reach GBP135bn by 2023. Over half of UK motorists believe they could not afford to be a first time driver today. 98% think the government is not doing enough to support road users of the future.
    LONDON, ENGLAND, February 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Soaring motoring costs threaten the future of driving as the young are priced off the road, according to Auto Trader's Owners' Guide: 'Future of Motoring' report.

Auto Trader surveyed 3,495 motorists for the report which reveals that some hard-hit car owners worry that motoring costs - including petrol, insurance and driving related taxation - will double over the next ten years to reach as much as GBP4,580 per year. As a result, motoring costs in the UK could reach over GBP135bn.

It is no surprise therefore that nearly three quarters (71%) of motorists believe it will be extremely difficult for young people to buy a car in the future, and over half (53%) of 17-24 year olds believe there will be a decrease in the number of young people learning to drive over the next decade.

Young female drivers are set to lose out the most following the introduction of new European laws banning insurers from calculating rates based on gender. The new ruling could result in a 25% increase in the annual cost of insurance for young female drivers, which in turn could lead to a dramatic reduction in the number of women on the roads. Nearly three quarters of women (72%) who have been driving for over five years believe they couldn't afford to be a fist time motorist today.

As Brits look to offset price increases, the 'Future of Motoring' report reveals some of the ways motorists will be forced to change their current driving behaviours to compensate. Almost half of motorists believe they will be forced to reduce the amount they drive (49%) and the number of people buying more efficient vehicles is set to increase.

Other trends set to emerge over the next ten years that will change the face of motoring include car pooling, with the number of people sharing journeys set to treble as people attempt to reduce costs. The report also reveals that 98% of motorists feel the government is not doing enough to support future road users.

Ian Pearson, leading futurologist, comments on the findings of Auto Trader's Owners' Guide: 'Future of Motoring' report: "As motorists continue to feel the economic squeeze, car pooling and other money saving tactics will become increasingly popular. We will see the emergence of new social networks, matching journeys to passengers and leading to the creation of 'road tribes' of school-run mums and commuters."

Manufacturers are investing in new technological advancements which will help offset spiralling motoring costs. A number of insurance companies are now offering 'telematics' technology which monitors the standard of driving and rewards safe motoring with cheaper premiums. Other eagerly anticipated developments include self-driving cars, with almost half of Brits (42%) expecting them to be a common feature on UK roads by 2023.

Ian Pearson continues: "Autonomous cars are expected to bring about many major benefits, especially for young drivers, including a reduction in accidents due to sensor technology that predicts and avoids collisions. Other important developments include road train technology that will allow semi-autonomous convoys of young drivers under the control of a more senior motorist."

Nathan Coe, Group Director of Auto Trader, said: "Faced with limited personal finances, a crippling rate of youth unemployment and consistent price hikes to the cost of motoring, the younger generation are most at risk as Britain continues to feel the financial squeeze. However, with all the technological advancements and trials currently underway, there is hope for the future of young drivers as our passion for the open road is reignited by a new era of motoring."

About Auto Trader:
Auto Trader is the UK's number one motoring digital marketplace with over 11 million monthly unique users, carrying out over 135 million searches on more than 350,000 new and used vehicles. Over 2.8 million people access Auto Trader via their mobile devices every month, through the mobile-optimised site and apps developed for iPhone, iPad, Android and Nokia. Auto Trader is part of Trader Media Group. For more information, visit www.autotrader.co.uk.

Trader Media Group is Europe's largest specialist multi-media group and supplier of leading automotive marketing products and services. The Group also offers a range of other specialist online publications including vans.autotrader.co.uk, trucks.autotrader.co.uk, plant.autotrader.co.uk, farm.autotrader.co.uk, autotrader.co.uk/bikes, caravans.autotrader.co.uk and motorhomes.autotrader.co.uk. Trader Media Group operates in the UK, Ireland and South Africa and is jointly owned by Guardian Media Group and Apax Partners. For more information, visit www.tradermediagroup.com.

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Natasha Lytton, or Lizzy Chadwick at Citizen on 020 3451 9400 or email natasha.lytton@citizenrelations.com or lizzy.chadwick@citizenrelations.com


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