Young drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident than any other age group, which is why choosing the right car is essential to increase safety and keep insurance costs down.
Choosing the best car for a young driver will likely mean finding one that is cheap and safe. But because of the way car insurance works these two factors tend to go hand in hand.
The problem for young drivers is that they have less experience on the roads and are therefore more likely to be involved in a crash. Unfortunately for them, that pushes insurance premiums considerably higher than for older drivers because insurance companies are more likely to have to pay out.
But the way that car insurance is calculated points to a very specific group of cars that make the ideal vehicle for first time drivers.
Insurance companies place every car on the road into one of 50 categories, based on their engine size and popularity. A category one car will have a small engine and slow acceleration, reducing the chance of it being involved in a collision. There will also be a lot of these cars on the road, so even if the car does need to be repaired or replaced there will be plenty of parts available.
A category 50 car conversely will accelerate quickly, be more likely to crash, and be difficult and expensive to repair because of a lack of spare parts. Because insurance companies will have to pay out larger sums for these cars, the premiums they charge are higher.
Various other factors affecting a car’s category include the car’s age and security features that can reduce the risk of theft. But for the young driver the important categories to focus on are one to three.
These cars tend to be marketed specifically toward younger drivers and are also priced relatively low because of their small engine size. It is by choosing one of these cars that you will be able to find the most suitable car insurance in terms of affordability and the size of the excess you will be required to pay in the event of an accident.
The category that a car fits in to is revised regularly, but cars like the Citroën C1, Fiat Panda, or Vauxhall Corsa are good examples of those which are among the cheapest to insure. They also tend to cost less out of a garage.
Buying a car second hand is also a good way to keep costs down, but it is worth making sure that the vehicle is not too old. According to the Institute of Advanced Motorists, half of young men who are in serious accidents are driving cars that are more than a decade old.
When buying one of these cars, be sure to ask for its service history and consider having it serviced again to be sure. As these cars fall in to lower categories, the parts required for them should be cheap and easy to find.
Unfortunately these cars tend not to be the most desirable options on the market, but for younger drivers at the greatest risk it is worth sacrificing style for safety and cost.