Your teen just passed their driving licence! But as you are thinking “congratulations, you also feel the burden of those new responsibilities. Parents of young drivers are the most likely to stay awake at night wondering whether their child will be a cautious driver. The truth is that new drivers are more likely to get into a minor collision that might not have any long-lasting health consequences but will be an expensive issue to manage. Unfortunately, young drivers lack the experience to adjust to new situations on the road. They are more likely to struggle to avoid other drivers or to lack attention in some areas. It is one of those situations where only time and practice can make it better. In other words, you are doomed to worry about your teen when they pass their driving licence.
However, a driving licence without a vehicle is useless. So, if you are in the process of choosing a vehicle for your teen, or discussing options together, here’s a little tip to remember: The first car needs to be reliable enough, but it shouldn’t be expensive. Why can’t teens have a fancy first car? The answer is simple; see for yourself.
Because it’s second hand
Parents rarely buy a car fresh out of the manufacturer for a new driver. Typically, you’ll be setting up a budget together and comparing the best second-hand vehicles available. A used vehicle is a much better choice than a brand new car. First of all, budget-wise, you are more likely to afford second-hand cars. Ultimately, your teen will need to hone their skills on the road to gain confidence and experience. Scratches along the bodypaint and minor dents are some of the most frequent causes of worry for young drivers. The last thing you want is to buy an expensive vehicle just to arrange for emergency repairs and fixes regularly.
Because it won’t last
Let’s be honest. Second-hand vehicles are decent, but most of them have already accumulated a lot of mileage by the time of purchase. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to invest in unique features, such as private plates or tailored upholstery, when you have no intention of keeping the vehicle in the long term. Most young drivers are also likely to use their cars for simple commutes, such as driving to university or visiting friends. The car has no family purposes. It often ends up accumulating wastes, such as takeaway food, that reflect your teen’s new lifestyle. We all know what it’s like to have a car for the first time. You’re free to drive anywhere, but the most exciting place you go to is your local drive-through restaurant. Welcome to your new freedom!
Because it’s a hand-me-down
More often than not, parents or grandparents choose to transfer car ownership to the new driver. The good news is that you are free to invest in a luxury vehicle while your teen can drive a car they already know. It’s a fantastic way to boost their confidence on the road. However, the process also means that you are more likely to keep all the accessories and gadgets for your next car, whenever possible. For instance, if you have a car fridge, you will probably use it in your next vehicle. The audio system could also follow you in the new car if it is compatible.
Because it’s more expensive to insure
First-time drivers’ insurance can be extremely expensive. Young drivers are perceived as a risk on the road. Drivers between 17 and 20 can expect to pay on average £1,800 in annual costs. According to the Department of Transport, young drivers are a third more likely to be involved in a fatal accident. Almost a quarter of young drivers will get involved in an accident within their first two years of driving. As such, insurance companies tend to increase premiums to reflect risks. As a result, you can keep insurance costs as low as possible by choosing a vehicle that is cheaper to insure. Used cars are your best bet.
Because it makes them more vulnerable to theft
Young drivers may not be familiar with car criminals. Consequently, they could unknowingly put themselves at risk by leaving windows open on a parked vehicle in summer or forgetting to lock the vehicle. Older vehicles are easier to break into, making them quick targets for car thieves. Keeping exciting and desirable features inside a used vehicle could make young drivers more vulnerable to crimes.
As a parent, you want the best for your child. However, when your child is a new driver, the best is not going to be the latest model of their favourite manufacturer. Second-hand vehicles are a cheap and hassle-free solution for young drivers. Granted, they may not have all the features your teen expects. But they will keep costs and risks low on the road!