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Excessive car insurance costs and other motoring bills are preventing new drivers from getting on the road after passing their test, according to research from insurer Marmalade. 

More than a quarter of young drivers have spent more than six months without driving after initially passing their test, with the cost of car-buying, insurance and maintenance among several other motoring bills cited as a major factor. 

Insurance costs have escalated in recent years, with the average policy up more than 33% since 2014. For new drivers, the average annual premium has reached almost £1,000 according to figures from comparison site Moneysupermarket.

The research highlights a possible link between rising insurance and car ownership costs, with the 25% of young drivers believing they’ve had an accident as a direct result of spending time away from the wheel after passing their test. 

“The period immediately after a driver passes their test is critical, and rising car ownership costs could be preventing new drivers from gaining the experience necessary to develop their skills and navigate the roads safely.” said Scott Hamilton-Cooper, Director of Sales and Operations at AX.

“The cost increases are showing no sign of letting up; the alarming number of new drivers spending significant time away from driving will only increase if costs become unmanageable. We don’t want a generation of drivers who are low on confidence and lacking sufficient competence.”