Now that it we are well into September we are starting to see a lot of new drivers on the road because many learner drivers try to get their practice in during Summer when the weather is a little more predictable and the roads tend to be clear of rain and snow (plus, it’s an ideal time for students who passed their test during the long summer to make their own way to schools and universities). As a learner driver and a new driver, there are things to consider when you look into sourcing your first car.

Automatic vs. Manual

If you learn to drive an automatic car, you are only allowed to drive automatic cars. Learning to drive a manual may be a better long term option as you can choose between the two when it comes to buying or hiring a car for the rest of your driving career. Manual options are often much cheaper than their automatic counterparts, and many ‘seasoned’ drivers will insist that manual cars are more fun to drive as well!

Safety

Younger, inexperienced drivers are more likely to crash, and this is a fact. Therefore, you’ll want your car to be as safe as possible if you are (hopefully never but…) ever involved in an accident. Most crash tests focus on front and side impact which is where the issues would be for the driver but when considering passengers too, make sure you check the safety of the rear impact too. Generally speaking, the more modern a car, the safer it’s likely to be because crash tests and legislation regarding safety have gotten stronger and technology more efficient.

Efficiency

Fuel is expensive, especially when you’re a new driver having to fork out potentially for a car, insurance, and road tax all in one go. Put MOTs and servicing on top of that and it really adds up. Therefore, choosing an efficient car can really help your wallet as well as the environment. Consider the car’s fuel consumption – the bigger the engine the more fuel it will consume (generally). Also, be sure to accelerate gently and not drive too fast to reduce the amount of fuel your car consumes. You may also like to read our previous articles regarding electric and hybrid vehicles.

Breakdown cover

You pray it will never happen to you, but the truth is that car’s do breakdown and most drivers will experience at least one breakdown. Make sure you check out breakdown cover for your car. Our policy at AutoAid insures the driver for Breakdown, regardless of what car they may be driving (so perfect if you share a lot of cars and driving amongst friends or family), but if you instead, for example, have a single car in a single household, our Sister company AutoNational ‘might’ be a better suiting for you, as those policies (there are a choice of AutoNational policies) cover the car, regardless of who is driving, so several people are effectively covered under one policy.

Your car is one of the biggest investments you will make outside of housing as a young adult, so take your time and choose your vehicle and surrounding cover carefully.