2/4/2014 - $600 a month to experience the open road
While teenagers who earn their license look at it as a huge step toward freedom, seeing as how they no longer have to rely on their parents for a ride, this new found liberation isn't without its price - a cost that may cause sticker shock to parents who help support them financially.
According to newly released data analyzed by online driving education company Driving-Tests.org, the average price of owning a used vehicle is approximately $7,000 per year. That's including a variety of components in addition to paying off a used car in installments. These expenses include, among other things, auto insurance, gasoline, repairs, regularly-scheduled maintenance, parking, tickets, tolls, taxes, registration tags and title fees. Broken down by month, that's the equivalent of just over $580.
Driving-Tests.org came to this conclusion after selecting one of the used vehicles recommended by MSN Money Magazine in June 2013, which listed more than a dozen optimal cars for 16-to-19-year-olds.
This latest analysis on the impact that driving can have on parents' and teens' wallets comes after several separate studies testified to how costly it can be. In late 2013, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that a major reason why there are fewer teenagers on the road today versus years past boils down to finances.
Similarly, the Highway Loss Data Institute released a study this past October, linking the drop in teen driving to the unemployment rate, which is considerably higher than the national jobless rate.
How can the roads' youngest motorists offset these expenditures? Driving-Tests.org noted that the most reliable ways are getting good grades and considering a hybrid vehicle. These strategies can help lower car insurance premiums and avoid having to purchase large amounts of gas.