If you’re helping your son or daughter to buy a new car, it’s important to find a vehicle which is cost-effective to insure and run, but is also safe.
Before applying for a car loan, take a look at these tips from the Institute of Advanced Motorists, which will help you find the perfect motor.
It’s never been more expensive to be a young driver. Not only do they have to contend with rising fuel costs, but insurance premiums are sky high.
This can make it tempting for young drivers to buy cheaper, older cars. However, as the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) argues, this can prove a false economy as research shows that nearly half of men under 20 who were killed or seriously injured in crashes were driving cars over ten years old.
Younger drivers are at more risk of serious injury because older cars offer less crash protection and have fewer safety features.
IAM director of policy and research, Neil Greig, said: “The ideal car from a new driver should have as much new technology on it as you can possibly afford – crash protection, airbags, anti lock brakes and crucially electronic stability control. Young drivers often buy really cheap old cars that lack these modern features.
“In a crash a new car will protect its occupants much better so it’s a good investment for your safety.”
Here’s the IAM’s top things to consider when buying a car for a young driver:
NCAP awards all cars star ratings based on their performance in a series of crash tests. The overall top rating is five stars and the IAM recommends looking for cars which have a rating of at least three, and ideally four. www.euroncap.com/results.aspx
Insurance groups are a huge factor in choosing a car for a young driver, as premiums can be so high. The lower the insurance group, the less you’ll have to pay. However, it’s important to look for cars which have good NCAP ratings within the lower insurance groups so you get the best of both worlds, for example, the Citroen C2 has four stars and is in insurance group one, while the Seat Ibiza has five stars and is in group three.
Most manufacturers used to offer a three year warranty as standard, however, five and seven year deals are becoming increasingly common, meaning many second hand cars in the market are still under warranty, which could save you a lot on repairs. The IAM advises that you read the small print before making a purchase as there may be mileage limits.
You don’t want a car which has done hundreds of thousands of miles on the road, but at the same time, it’s not always wise to pay a premium just because a car only has 15,000 miles on the clock after three years. According to the IAM, many small cars only cover small distances each year so search around for the best deal.
If you’re looking for a relatively new car for less, you might pick up a bargain if you go for one with a high initial depreciation rate. However, remember that if the price continues to drop at the same rate, you won’t get a good price for it when it’s time to sell it on.
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