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Looks not price drives car choice

A third of young motorists - aged 17-20 - opt for a car on the basis of what it looks like, while only 7% make a choice based on running costs and insurance costs, a survey from RAC Insure and driving school BSM has found.

The survey also showed that an average of £3,400 is spent on a first car. A total of 48% of young drivers are buying it themselves and only 19% relying solely on parents. More than half (51%) of young drivers had acquired a car within a week of passing their driving test.A total of 44% went for a larger car, even though this can double their running costs.

RAC Insure managing director Nick Hall said: "Government statistics say the number of young drivers has halved since 1990, and many blame rising motoring costs. But our research shows young people rarely give due consideration to the cost of their first car and struggle to afford or maintain it as a result."A first car is an emotional, not rational, purchase - but you need a balance between what is affordable and safe, as well as stylish."

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