Ideal cars for young drivers
The cost of running a car is pretty high at the moment and insurance premiums are a large part to blame. In fact, stats show that insurance has increased forty per cent in the last year alone, so it’s more important than ever to shop around for cars and insurance.
Car insurance comparison websites allow you to compare insurance quotes from over 120 car insurers across the market in one quick search. The results received will be based on the car as well as the driver’s perceived risk.
So how can you go about finding the best cars to insure and run?
Start by investigating car insurance categories. The Association of British Insurers categorise cars into insurance groups one to fifty based on their engine size and the availability of spare parts. Cars with small engines and a large circulation are usually cheapest to insure. Small engines are seen as lower risk as their acceleration speed is low and popular cars are relatively cheap to insure due to the ready availability of spare parts.
The cheapest cars to insure fall into categories one to three. These are often sold as ideal cars for new drivers. Examples of such cars include:
Citroën C1 (from 2005 onwards)
Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback (from 2006 onwards)
Fiat Panda (from 2004 onwards)
Toyota Yaris Hatchback (from 2006 onwards)
Ford Fiesta (from 2008 onwards)
Nissan Pixo (from 2009 onwards)
Volvo C70 Coupé Convertible (from 2006 onwards)
Toyota Aygo (from 2005 onwards)
Peugeot 107 (from 2005 onwards)
Aside from engine size and popularity, the cheapest cars to insure are also relatively cheap to purchase in the beginning. Generally cars that are cheaper to purchase are cheaper to replace should the car be written off or stolen. These cars are also relatively new, between 3 and 4 years old on average, and so carry less risk of breaking down.
But of course it’s not just the car make and model that affects insurance premiums, how the car is driven has a powerful influence too! Inexperienced drivers, particularly inexperienced male drivers, are seen as those most at risk on the roads. But there are particular driving techniques that all drivers can abide by to ensure good road safety and to reduce the risk of accident:
Stick to the speed limit
Yes it sounds obvious but even the most experienced drivers get carried away with car karaoke or chatting to their passengers and it’s easy to pay less attention to the speedometer. But this isn’t a valid excuse for speeding; as far as the law goes, points don’t mean prizes. Also, remember to pay particular attention to your speed when driving on slower roads after long periods of driving at speed; after driving at 60 or 70 miles per hour for a prolonged period, the concept of speed is naturally obscured; 30 may seem a lot slower than normal.
And talking of fast roads, you’ll be wise to be extra vigilant on the motorways. Unless you have taken the pass plus scheme, your first time on the motorway may be daunting. Remember to check your mirrors regularly as the fast pace and motorists’ tendency to change lanes regularly means that movement happens quickly. Also, your blind spot check is a priority when it comes to the motorway; keep a special eye out for motorcyclists.
During the summer, when rain follows prolonged dry spells (a rarity in the UK), take special notice of the road conditions. Rain after a prolonged dry spell can make roads extremely slippery; the rubber from tyres which builds up on the road surface during dry weather becomes lubricated by the first rain of the season and seriously reduces the tyre grip on the road. Driving tips to adopt in such conditions include staying further back from the vehicle in front, slowing earlier at junctions and traffic lights, taking corners slowly and allowing others around you more time to react.
During the winter weather, when roads are slippery and visibility is often reduced, your dipped headlights will become your vehicles biggest asset, allowing other road users to see you. Fog lights should only be used in extreme conditions, for example when vehicles in front become difficult to see. Also remember the longer breaking distances required on wet surfaces and ensure your tyres, breaks, wipers, heaters and demisters are on form when driving on cold nights.