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How to pick the right car if you are a young driver

The usual advice that young newly qualified drivers get when they are picking their first car is to go for a small one; after all insurance costs for larger cars can be absolutely prohibitive, and the running costs of smaller cars are much lower than those for their larger brethren which is a very important advantage for people who are usually just starting off in a career and so relatively low paid. Despite this there are plenty of newly qualified drivers driving around in quite large vehicles for which they are paying a fortune in insurance premiums; why should this be?

One of the reasons of course is ego. Many young people are somewhat short on self-confidence and they see a powerful motorcar as a way of boosting their standing amongst their peers. A much more importance factor however this price; generally speaking, larger second-hand cars can be picked up for a lot less than small ones.

Smaller cars don't just attract smaller car insurance costs; The Road Fund Licence is cheaper too, and regular items such as servicing and replacement of tyres, batteries, exhaust systems and brakes can cost a great deal less so it is harder surprising that smaller cars hold their value well. There is a downside to a small car however; very often they have had to work extremely hard particularly if they have been used for a lot of motorway work; cruising in a 2.5 L Rover at 70 miles an hour involves far less stress on the engine and other components that it does in a Fiat 500 so it is hardly surprising that these smaller engines wear out more quickly. There is a safety aspect to consider as well; many larger cars tend to be packed with more protective measures such as reinforced cages and airbags and the extra bulk and weight of a large car can provide a lot of protection to drivers and passengers in the event of an accident. So, bearing this in mind, is it still a good idea to buy a smaller car?

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If you can afford to buy a new vehicle, or if you have generous parents who can buy one for you, a smaller car will win hands down, economically, every time because you will not only benefit from lower running costs but the vehicle should also retain its value far better, provided of course that you look after it properly. Another benefit of buying new is that some car manufacturers offer free or subsidised car insurance to their buyers; if you are a typical young person who has only recently become qualified to drive this could represent a very substantial saving for you! If on the other hand you are on a very tight budget you may only be able to afford a gas guzzler but do bear in mind that it will probably cost you an arm and a leg to run it.

If, despite the cost differences, you are still looking for a second hand small engined vehicle then there are a lot of them available on the market and thanks to considerable increases in quality of design and engineering cars are generally far more reliable than they were even a decade or so ago so provided that you buy one with a fairly low mileage you should be able to find a suitable vehicle at a reasonable price but it is important to make sure that it is checked out by someone who knows what he or she is looking for; and bear in mind that if the car is very cheap there is a very strong possibility that there are problems with it; and a problem with a motorcar with a potential top speed of around 100 mph could cause death or serious injury. Cars can be fun to drive but they are not toys and if they are not in perfect working order they can be very dangerous machines indeed.

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