If there’s one thing most teenagers crave (among many other things) then it’s a degree of independence, so it’s hardly surprising that when it comes to must-haves, the one thing at the top of their list is a set of wheels.
However, young people need to be extra careful on the road, as they are three times more likely than an older driver to be involved in an accident.
Insurance and other costs for young people have skyrocketed to the level where the law could be changed to prevent accidents and banish such extortionate premiums.
As such there are added costs and other considerations parents need to be aware of when choosing a car for their child.
This will be the most important aspect of the purchase – for your teenager, that is. They will want to impress their friends – and strangers, no doubt – by riding around in a car that looks as good as it drives.
Of course, when it comes to buying a decent car for your child this is the least important factor. Your son or daughter may well put pressure on you to get them something stylish, but the fact is, they will be probably be so overjoyed at the level of independence your gift has given them, that the appearance of the car will matter less to them than they thought it would.
In other words: resist buying a car on this factor alone as much as possible.
Size of car
Most teens, especially boys, will ideally want a large and powerful car to drive around in.
However, not only are these cars much more expensive to run and insure – they are also the most dangerous vehicles on the road for young people. If you are buying a car for your boy you should remember that young males are 7 times more likely than older men to be involved in a crash.
In fact, between the hours of 2am and 5am, young males are a shocking 17 times more likely to crash, so be sure to discourage your son from driving in the dead of night unless it’s absolutely necessary for him to do so.
Whatever size car you finally decide on, even a smaller one may be heavy on the funds in this era of austerity. You will find it helps to look online for the best car finance for your child’s gift.
Even if you do find a cheap car for your offspring, it is likely that the cost of insuring them for 12 months could be much more than what you paid for their actual motor – so compare prices carefully before you buy.
The average cost of insuring a driver aged 17 or 18 is now over £1,800 per year for even a small, old, second-hand vehicle. Parents are regularly quoted eye-watering sums of £4,000 to £5,000 plus to insure their children on the normal family car – even as a secondary driver where the primary driver has a no-claims bonus.
Ultimately, it pays to shop around for the best deals out there before you make either promises or decisions about what car to purchase for your son or daughter – not least to offset the high insurance costs. The process may seem laboured, but in the long run, considering the cash you’ll save and the peace of mind you’ll have, it’ll be worth it.