RACQ reveals change in first car buying habits

A new survey by the State’s peak motoring body has revealed major changes in first car buying behaviour, with young drivers less likely to own a vehicle before they were 25 years old.

Media Release

RACQ’s survey found almost one third of novice drivers delayed purchasing a vehicle despite having a driver licence, an increase of 38.5 percent compared to last year.

Club spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said getting a licence and buying a car used to be a rite of passage, but it 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 on average $7,358 and was 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 nation-wide, 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.”