Things to Consider When Buying a Car for a Young Driver

Most young people want to learn to drive as soon as they are legally old enough to take a seat behind the wheel of a car. The age a teenager is legally allowed to learn to drive varies from country to country, but in general teenagers can start having lessons from anywhere between 15 and 17. This is great, but once they pass their drivers’ test, they will be desperate for a car to call their own.

Buying a Car for a Young Driver

Buying a car for a young driver is not as simple as looking at perusing the listings on “List in Autos” for a cheap car with four wheels and a roof. Used cars are not without their problems, so it is very important that you find the right car for your son or daughter. Anything less than right could be an expensive mistake for both of you, and not just in the financial sense. So what should you be aware of?

Buying a Car for a Young Driver
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Powerful Cars are an Accident Waiting to Happen

It may sound obvious, but giving a teenager a car with a big engine is a kin to letting a toddler play with a hand grenade, i.e. it is only a matter of time before something bad happens.

car accident
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Teenagers are young, reckless, and completely oblivious to their own mortality. Testosterone rules and kids are apt to show off, driving like maniacs to impress their friends. In an old beat up car, they might just avoid wrapping it around a tree, but in a high-powered motor, the odds are less attractive.

To cut down the odds of an accident occurring, look for cars that have smaller engines. The slower the car, the safer it will be for a young and inexperienced driver.

Smaller hatchbacks
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Looks Matter

Sadly, owning a car is not always enough. Many young people want to drive cars that fit their persona. A car doesn’t have to be new, but it does need to look right. Smaller hatchbacks are always popular with young drivers because they can be customized.

Check the Cost of Insuring a Potential Car

The cost of insurance for young drivers is very high because young drivers are in the highest risk category. There is very little you can do to keep insurance costs at a reasonable level, but some cars are more expensive to insure than others – namely foreign import cars – so check this before you buy a car.

young drivers
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Is the Vehicle Safe?

Before you hand over any cash, have the car thoroughly checked over by a friendly mechanic you can trust. Older cars sold are more prone to problems, some of which can be a safety issue. Look for obvious signs of corrosion and check how often the car has been serviced. See how it feels when driven and check how many previous owners it has had.

Taking ownership of a first car is exciting for any young driver. Now it is time to do your bit and find the right car so they can look forward to many happy years of safe motoring.

Wilko is a full-time motoring journalist with an obsessive interest in all things automotive.