The level of teens getting on the road is sliding notably, and the consensus is that this has dropped off in recent years. While there may be many factors that contribute to this trend, the main issue may be that balancing the costs of a car, auto insurance, gas and other road-related expenses may be too much for youth.
Teenagers who own a used vehicle from model year 2009 may have to pay as much as $6,968 per year, according to a report from Driving-Tests.org. If they decide to not get their own vehicle, and just periodically use a relative's model, it can still have a cost of $2,741 annually.
There are more expenses that need to be put into consideration. According to average vehicle prices listed on MSN Money Magazine's list in June of the Best Cars for Teen Drivers, most cost approximately $11,849, and have gas mileage of 25 miles per gallon. When factoring it out, young people would way more than $260 in financing, while insurance could exceed $200. Maintenance would be an additional $32 and gasoline could approach $90. These all work to more than $580 each month, which could be quite cost prohibitive.
Further evidence agrees
The idea that owning a vehicle for young people is becoming too cost-prohibitive isn't rare. Multiple agencies are coming to this conclusion, as saving seems difficult.
During the period between 2006 and 2012, the level of drivers between the ages of 14 and 19 fell 12 percent, according to car insurance data analyzed by the Highway Loss Data Institute. This is notable because the overall teen population only fell by 3 percent.
"It looks like teens just can't afford to drive," said Matt Moore, vice president of HLDI. "Paying for their own cars, gas and insurance is hard if they can't find a job. At the same time, kids who count on Mom and Dad to help them also may be out of luck if their parents have been affected by the recession."
There was also a decline noted in the level of those who were active drivers between the ages of 35 and 54, the report added. However, this drop was not nearly as significant as those who would be just starting out behind the wheel.