Learning to drive and getting your first car is one of the greatest rites of passage for a young person because it means one thing – independence and freedom. Unfortunately, this also comes at a cost. So read our guide from choosing a driving instructor to choosing your first car and finding the cheapest car insurance.
How do I choose a good driving instructor?
Most young drivers will need a driving instructor and it doesn’t come cheap, but the most important thing to remember is that it is your (or your parents!) money, so make sure that you choose one that you are comfortable with.
First of all, check their credentials, driving instructors must be ADI approved and just like OFSTED they come with a grading, 4 is satisfactory, 5 is good, whilst 6 is the highest grading a driving instructor can get. Secondly, ask around, most people choose their instructor through word of mouth. And finally, most important, if you don’t feel that you are learning enough or you feel uncomfortable, it’s not your fault. A driving instructor should make you feel at ease behind the wheel and getting the best out of you, not the other way around. So if you have any doubts talk to a trusted adult and they can have a chat with the instructor or if necessary find a new instructor that will help you pass that all important test the first time.
Which is the best car for a young driver?
Yeeeeaaaaaaahhhhh! Rip up that L plate, you’ve passed your test and the world is your oyster. Now, the next BIG question; which car? Now, we all want to impress our mates and the opposite sex with our souped up Citreon and our exhaust that sounds like Concorde taking off, but just hold on a minute. Do you really have the extra three grand it’s going to put on your insurance? You might have to wait a couple of years until you manage to accrue some NCD (no claims discount) before buying that body kit.
Research shows that the five cheapest cars to insure are the Ford Ka, Peugeot 107, Daewoo Matiz, Mini One and the Citreon C1. The best advice is to check out the insurance first (as this will probably cost more that the car!) and then have a look at some cars. Put them into a price comparison site such as www.pay-as-you-drive.net and see which are the best for you. Everyone’s circumstances are different and postcodes, where your car is parked and even your job occupation can make the difference.
OMG, how much? Is there any way to get cheaper car insurance?
58% of you will have a crash in your first year of driving, which goes a long way to explaining why your insurance is so high in the first couple of years.
And if you are female, it’s about to get worse. Statistically, you are less likely to crash than a male, so your car insurance was much cheaper. £1,799 compared to £3,163, but in December, insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate against boys, so female insurance will be going up, up, up.
But, it’s not all bad news. Some car insurance companies will put a black box in your car, which is a very clever piece of equipment that can tell them things such as how fast you are driving, how quickly you brake and accelerate and what time of day or night you are driving. They can then use this information and if you drive well, they can reduce your premiums. Great for the safe, sensible drivers we at www.s-cool.co.uk know you are.
So, what does that mean for you? Well, statistically, most fatal accidents happen at night, so some insurance companies will fine you if you drive at night. Some give you a score for your driving, so if you accelerate too hard on lots of different occasions, you will get less points, this might mean your insurance can go up. Others will limit the number of miles you use in a year.
Confused? Well, ask yourself the following questions.
1. Approximately, how many miles will I drive in a year?
2. Will I drive after 11 o’clock on a regular basis?
3. Am I always safe and sensible when I drive?
Then go to www.pay-as-you-drive.net the only website which gives you an impartial run down of the different black box insurance policies available. Choose the one that is going to suit your lifestyle.
So for instance, if you work in a pub, don’t go for ikube as they will fine you each time you drive at night, but if you don’t drive at night then ikube might be perfect. If you are going to uni and will be travelling back home every weekend, maybe insurethebox isn’t for you, but it may suit you if you live in a city and get the bus and only use you car at the weekend.
Trial and error is the key, but the beauty of black box insurance is that although it seems like big brother is watching, research shows that those young drivers with black boxes fitted are safer drivers. And that can only be a good thing for everyone on the roads. Use black box insurance for a couple of years and then with a good NCD, your insurance policy will drop and with the money you are saving, you can finally buy that fusion sub and amp package that you’ve had your eye on.
Please visit www.teentrack.co.uk for more information on safer driving.
Go to www.pay-as-you-drive.net for car insurance advice.