As a young driver, you do have a lot to think about. And it is quite easy to get caught up in the fun aspects of having a licence for the first time. If you are a first time driver, you are probably just excited about how much more freedom and flexibility the ability to drive brings you – and what kind of car you’re going to choose: classic, modern, sporting or practical. However, there are also other important things to consider that will affect your safety and comfort on the road.
Before we look at the best cars to buy, it’s worth considering the day-to-day legalities, such as tax, insurance, MoT. These factors, such as how to go about choosing your car insurance, and what sort of car to buy or save for, can help to shape your driving experience for many years to come.
With regards to obtaining the right car insurance, the first and most logical step is probably simply to ask your parents; chances are they have had their own experiences, and will likely be able to help you with the details and fine points the first time around. However, you will also want to visit the website of an insurance provider such as Aviva or Allstate. And although it’s tempting to do so, don’t always shop primarily on price – sometimes premiums can be cheap for a reason. Also spend lots of time on the websites, playing with the options – we found at least one company that offers lower premiums for those who declare on-street parking (as opposed to driveway) due to ‘the risk not being associated with a property’.
These are examples of companies that can provide you with tailored insurance coverage for everything from a crack in your windscreen to a passenger injury in an accident. It is not pleasant to think about, particularly when you are just starting out as a driver, but accidents do happen, and with adequate insurance, you can at least decrease the expenses of an accident. Just don’t skimp. And if that means buying a car with less power than you’d like… just consider that you’ll be in a much better position with a couple of years’ no-claims bonus under your belt.
As far as which cars you should be looking into driving as a new driver, safety is a primary concern, of course. It may be tempting to go for something that handles well, or something fast, or even something that can fit all of your friends in it; however, you will want to make sure that you look into any car’s safety record. In addition, it would be a good idea to consider purchasing a used car, and/or a car that gets good fuel consumption, so as to save money.
After all, if you cut costs while you are young, you may be able to save up for a nicer car later on in life.
These are just a few safety and cost-related considerations for young drivers to keep in mind. Again, it is quite easy when you first receive your licence to be very excited, and to overlook the necessities. However, with a the right insurance and a safe car that suits your needs and budget, you will be able to enjoy your new freedom and flexibility soon enough…
AROnline‘s ten favourite insurable cars for the under-21s
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.