Old, used cars becoming the norm for young drivers, say RACQ
Young drivers are much less likely to own a vehicle before they turn 25, according to a new RACQ survey.
The new survey has revealed "major changes" in first car buying habits, with almost one third of novice drivers delaying purchase of their own vehicle despite having a driver's licence.
The latest statistics are a 38.5 per cent increase compared to last year.
RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said getting a licence and buying a car used to be a rite of passage but now appeared less important to drivers under 25.
"We know cars are more expensive now than previous years and can be a real barrier for young drivers to make the investment," Ms Ritchie said.
"It costs around $200 per week to own and run a new mid-sized car, for example, which is often why novice drivers opt to purchase cheaper second-hand cars or not to purchase at all."
Ms Ritchie said the survey also found those who did buy a first car spent $7,358 on average, and the cars were typically around 13.5 years old.
"The majority of young people paid for their first vehicle themselves, without financial support," she said.
"Last year there was a noticeable shift towards purchasing SUVs and utility vehicles, which reflects what we saw nationwide, where around half of all new cars purchased in Australia were SUVs."
Ms Ritchie urged first time drivers to always aim to buy the safest car they could afford.
"The risk of a novice driver being involved in a serious crash is about twice that of an experienced driver, so it is important to choose a car that offers a high level of protection," she said.
"The newer the car, the more safety features they offer as standard."