A Guide To Buying Your Childs First Car

Congratulations your child has just passed their driving test, and you’ve decided to help them their first car.

You’re not alone: one in six UK parents help their child purchase their first car, contributing an average of 45% of the total cost, according to a survey from Parkers.

If you contribute financially, you can influence the vehicle your child gets and ensure they won’t pester you to borrow your car every evening or at the weekend, and you won't find food wrappers and drinks bottles stuffed under the seats.

But what should you look for in your child’s first car? The best vehicles for young drivers are affordable to buy, cheap to run and insure, and fitted out with the latest safety features.

Set a budget​..

When purchasing a car for your child  it's important to set a budget not only for the upfront cost but also for the ongoing running costs. While you may be responsible for the purchase price, your child will likely be responsible for the daily expenses, such as fuel and maintenance costs.

It's essential to strike a balance between the purchase price and ongoing costs. Older used cars may seem like a bargain, but they often have poor fuel mileage, high road tax, and costly faults that can make them expensive to run. 

New Cars are the most expensive, but you can take advantage of the rapid depreciation of their value, However if you choose a newly new model not only are you getting it for in some case 60% of the retail price, which provides value for you the purchaser and your child who will be maintaining it, It will also have all the great safety features and fuel economy which helps them.

Fuel costs are another crucial factor to consider. Cars with good fuel economy can go further on a single tank of petrol. Think about how much your child will be driving each month and how often they will need to refuel, will they be using it for college or university or commuting to their job, in and out of town and city's lots of variables for their driving pattens.

Road tax, is the annual tax paid based on the carbon emissions of the vehicle. Older used cars can be heavily polluting and cost you hundreds of pounds annually in road tax. Electric vehicles have zero emissions and are exempt from road tax, but they are generally more expensive to purchase.

Ulez - The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is a charge that applies to certain vehicles that enter the designated zone in central London. If your vehicle does not meet the required emissions standards, you will need to pay a daily charge to drive within the ULEZ area. Whether the ULEZ will affect you depends on your vehicle's age, emissions standards and whether you plan to drive within the designated zone. If your vehicle meets the required emissions standards, you won't have to pay the ULEZ charge. If your unsure please click on the link to find out if your car is fine Check Your Vehicle

Insurance costs are a significant expense, especially for young drivers. Affordable, smaller vehicles are cheaper to insure than high-powered sports cars and SUVs that may appeal to your teenager. Choosing a car in a low insurance group can save you hundreds of pounds each year, we have a article that covers 12 Ways To Save Money On Your Car Insurance

MOT Cars over three years old face an the annual test, which checks the vehicle's roadworthiness. While the test itself is price-capped at £54.85, it may expose faults that you're required to address, sometimes at great expense, 

Overall, setting a budget that takes into account the purchase price, fuel costs, road tax, insurance, and MOT test expenses can help you choose a car that's affordable for both you and your teenager. It's crucial to strike a balance between upfront costs and ongoing expenses to ensure that your child can afford to run the car without breaking the bank.

Read up on car safety ratings and tech

20% of new drivers will be involved in an accident in their first year of driving, road safety charity Brake notes. To ensure your child isn’t among them, and to protect them and their passengers if they do have an accident, you want a vehicle with superb safety credentials and state of the art collision avoidance technology.

Most vehicles sold in the UK will have ratings from Euro NCAP, the European New Car Assessment Programme. The programme subjects cars to a battery of tests, many replicating real-life accident scenarios.

Cars receive a percentage score for their performance in four assessment categories: the protection of adult occupants of the vehicle (both the driver and passenger), the protection of child occupants, the protection of vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists), and the presence of driver-assist technologies, from seatbelt reminders to autonomous emergency braking systems. Those scores contribute to a star rating of one (least safe) to five (most safe).

Cars with five-star Euro NCAP ratings that are popular for young drivers include:

Safety features will contribute to a car’s overall Euro NCAP rating, but you might want to put the following technologies on your wish list:

  • Automatic emergency braking(AEB): Senses potential collisions and if the driver doesn’t react quickly enough, automatically starts braking.
  • Adaptive cruise control: A feature on most new cars; uses sensors and radars to detect the distance of the car ahead and maintains that distance by automatically accelerating or braking.
  • Lane departure warning: Sounds a warning when the vehicle strays out of its lane.
  • Lane-keeping assist system: A step beyond lane departure warnings, these systems can steer the vehicle back into the centre of the lane.

Safety concerns may encourage you to buy a vehicle fresh from the assembly line rather than a used model, despite the extra cost. New cars employ the latest security features and haven’t experienced the wear and tear and uncertain histories of used models.Text here ...

Consider the vehicle’s environmental impact

Many young people today are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their actions, and are concerned about the issue of global heating. As a result, they are actively seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint and minimise their impact on the planet. One area where this is particularly evident is in the realm of transportation, where many young people are now looking to purchase low-emissions vehicles.

Low-emissions vehicles, such as electric cars or hybrid vehicles, have a much smaller carbon footprint than traditional petrol or diesel cars. This is because they emit far fewer greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants, which are a major contributor to global warming and air pollution. In addition to the environmental benefits, low-emissions vehicles also have other advantages, such as being cheaper to run review our electric or hybrid models click here 

Because they use less fuel, low-emissions vehicles can travel much further on a full tank or charge than traditional petrol or diesel vehicles. This means that owners can save a significant amount of money on fuel costs over the lifetime of the vehicle. Additionally, many low-emissions vehicles do not incur the same penalties as more polluting models, such as high road tax or fines for driving in low emissions zones in city centres.

Given these benefits, it is no surprise that many young people are choosing to buy low-emissions vehicles. Not only do they offer a way to reduce their impact on the environment, but they also provide a more cost-effective and convenient mode of transportation. As concerns about the environment continue to grow, it is likely that more and more people will turn to low-emissions vehicles as a way to mitigate their impact on the planet.