When your little one has grown up enough to start driving, it can be a worrying experience. Not only can you be left wondering how they got so old so quickly, but you can also be concerned about their safety and security when driving.
There are many different things for a parent to consider and plenty of different cars to choose from. Here is a simple guide on choosing your child’s first car by deciding what important features and qualities it should have.
Decide On The Priorities
Your child may be old enough to start driving a car, but they will always be your child when you decide what car to buy; you need to decide what qualities or features the car should have. The priorities will usually be safety, security, and cost.
Modern vehicles typically have better levels of both safety and security, though they will cost more to buy and insure. Some parents take the additional security measure of getting private number plates. This makes the car easier to identify as the registration number is more memorable and is just a nice touch.
This can also be a long-term investment. You can often sell personal number plates for a profit after keeping them for a few years. Regtransfers have been buying and selling plates for years and can give you a free valuation of your plate. You may find that a combination you have is in demand in the future.
How To Search For Safety
Newer cars are generally safer than older ones as safety technology advances over time, sometimes quite a lot in a year. Even in the second-hand car market, every car should have a Euro NCAP safety rating unless it is a classic or vintage model.
Cars will have an overall safety rating, but information should also be available on how the car performs in certain types of accidents. Head-on collisions and side impacts are the most common accidents on British roads, and many involve young and inexperienced drivers.
When searching for a vehicle for your child or yourself, you should always investigate its safety rating and check its performance in certain types of crashes. A car can have a higher-than-average overall safety rating with a low rating in side impacts or rear-end crashes.
New Cars Are More Reliable
A common experience for the parents of young drivers is a car breakdown. When your child runs into mechanical problems, you will be the first number they call. Even with the help of roadside assistance companies like the AA or RAC, knowing your child is stranded somewhere can be stressful.
Modern cars will have the edge over older ones in this respect, too. Most new cars will be more reliable than their older counterparts but always do a bit of research before settling on a vehicle. Even new cars can have issues that cause breakdowns, and the best way to separate the good from the bad is to investigate online and see what other owners are saying.
Leasing a car may be something to consider if you want a new, reliable, and safe car for your child. The monthly costs are often cheaper than finance and sometimes come with discounted insurance offers.
New, leased cars are covered under their manufacturer’s warranty, so major faults and engine problems can be solved at no additional cost. Leasing a new car for three years can often cost less than buying second-hand, and when the lease ends, your child can decide whether to continue with a new lease or buy their vehicle.
Get An Insurance Quote Before Buying
The cost of insuring a young driver can be astronomical. This is understandable as you will most likely claim in your first few years of driving. Before you and your child decide which car to buy, you should get insurance quotes. The cost of insurance may change your mind.
Engine size and value are the two biggest influencers on the cost of an insurance policy, after the age and experience of the driver. When looking for cars, you should concentrate on vehicles with small engines. These are not only more economical to run, but they are also less powerful.
The value and exclusivity of a car make it more desirable to thieves and more expensive to repair in the event of an accident. Avoid executive-grade car marques like Mercedes-Benz or BMW and stick to mass-market car manufacturers like Honda, Toyota, and Ford. These cars are more common, so parts are cheaper, and car thieves are less impressed.
When you have investigated the safety, reliability, and insurance costs of the cars available, you should have a small stable of vehicles for your child to choose from. Now is the time for them to make decisions based on colour or cool features and for you to take them on some test drives.