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New drivers spend ‘less than grandparents’ on first car

First cars are more than £1,000 cheaper for young drivers than they were for their grandparents, new research has found.

Taking account of inflation, the average spend on a first car in the 1960s was £6,026. But today it is £4,627, the study by CarGurus found. The lowest average price was in the 1990s at just £3,264.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of young people today buy a second-hand model to get on the road for the first time, compared with 91% of their grandparents’ generation.

“We were surprised to find that new drivers today spend less on their first vehicle than their grandparents did,” James Drake of CarGurus said. “It would seem that the UK’s large used car market is helping them to acquire more affordable vehicles.”

He added: “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.” In fact, Just over half (56%) of drivers aged 18-34 paid for their first car with their own money.