Choosing your first car is always a big decision, but as a 17-year-old driver it can be especially difficult to make the right choice
We’ve taken a look at the best first cars for 17-year-olds so you can make some informed decisions about which car is right for you.
Buying and running a car is expensive for anyone, but this is especially true for new drivers and young people. You’ll have lots of things to think about when buying your first car, but making sure you’ve got the right one for you is the most important thing.
What costs will I have to pay for my first car?
Before deciding what to buy, you should consider all the costs that come as part and parcel of car ownership too.
Car insurance for 17 year olds:
This is easily the most important cost to consider when buying your first car. All insurers will expect first-time drivers to pay more for their car insurance and car insurance for 17 year olds can be notoriously pricy. This shouldn’t put you off buying a car at 17 though – it’s not always fair, but unfortunately that’s just how it is!
Knowing roughly how much you’ll be spending on your average annual premium is a must before you buy. To give you a bit of help, we’ve created the below table which shows the 10 cars which were on average the cheapest to insure for 17 year old Admiral policyholders between January and June 2017.
Good first cars for 17 year olds:
|Car||Average annual premium
Unless you choose a Band A vehicle, it’s electric or built before 1973 you’ll have to pay car tax. Comparatively, this is a relatively small cost for lower band cars but can climb to as much as £535 as a one off payment for Band M cars which have the highest CO2 emissions.
An MOT checks your car’s road worthiness and safety, usually done by either the dealership or a garage. All cars over three years old have to be legally tested every year – though this could soon increase to every four years – and MOT fees can vary so it’s worth shopping around. You can also save money by looking after your car as best you can and driving it in a safe and careful manner.
Unfortunately, this is a bit of an expensive one – so choosing a car with good fuel consumption should be a high priority before you buy. Not only does better fuel consumption save you money, it’s good for the environment too.
Think about car sharing as well. If you’re making the same journey as somebody else every day, or even just sometimes, you can save money by doing it together.
With a good set of tyres, you should be able to get around 20,000 miles out of them. It’s important to check tyre pressure regularly and make sure you don’t skimp on safety – tyres are what keep you and your car on the road surface.
Repairs and services:
However good a driver you are, problems will always arise over time and car maintenance is a safety essential. Most cars only need a thorough service once a year so this is something that can be easily budgeted for.
TIP: When you’re buying your first car, make sure the service record and logbook are provided with the car so that you have a paper-trail of previous services and repairs.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
The likelihood is, you’ve got friends and family who have bought cars themselves and plenty of parents have probably been asked ‘what’s the best first car for a 17-year-old?’ so they’ll be expecting to get involved. Make sure you use this to your advantage and take on board any expertise you might have! There will be things to look out for when buying your first car that you may not even have thought of.
If you’re lucky enough to know someone who really knows their cars, getting them to come along and help check out the vehicles you’re looking at when you first buy can be hugely helpful as well!
How much is car insurance for a 17 year old?
No matter what car you choose to buy, the most important decision you make after your first car purchase will come in the form of the car insurance you choose to buy. Car insurance for 17 year olds doesn’t come cheap, but shopping around can help you find the best deal for you.
Car insurance costs are based on a number of things. The value of the vehicle itself is one, but it’s not the only factor to take into consideration. One of the easiest ways to figure out which cars will be the cheapest to insure is by looking at their group rating. The lower the group rating, the cheaper the insurance will be.
For even cheaper car insurance for 17 year olds, it’s worth thinking about black box insurance too. With black box insurance, you’re rewarded for how well you drive and if you are a safe driver you could even be rewarded with lower premiums. When buying a first car as a 17-year-old, it’s easy to feel you’re being punished with high costs because of other people’s bad driving. Most black box insurance providers offer free theft tracking too, so having one can even be an added security measure.
Buying your first car can certainly be a bit of a daunting task, but so long as you’re well-informed and well-prepared it can actually be an enjoyable experience, especially when you’re out on the road yourself.