Monday, 06 November 2017 12:11

Safety concerns as young drivers purchase 'unsafe' second hand vehicles because of the high cost of buying new

It’s an exciting time for both teenagers and parents alike when a child reaches 17 years of age and they can start driving lessons and make the great leap into independence.

It’s an even greater feeling when that said child passes their test and they, along with parents, can rush off and select a new car to drive around in.

The natural thing for parents to do is to consider getting a cheap run-around for their newly qualified driver and this will often mean a small car that is a good few years old, has a fair bit of mileage on it, but seems reliable enough when performance history has been checked. And to be fair, why shouldn’t parents opt to select a cheap run around? No doubt they will already, alongside their child, be paying enough in car insurance without then wanting to blow a fortune on getting a new car. After all, under 25’s are theoretically more likely to have a crash than any other demographic and a considerable number of newly qualified drivers make a claim within their first year of being on the road – so it is easy to see why people wouldn’t want to spend a fortune on a first car.

According to research from an insurance group though, parents should think again when purchasing a cheap car for their child as they could potentially be buying a car that is deemed unsafe in comparison to newer models that achieve 5 safety ratings. Co Op insurance has stated that parents are putting driver safety in jeopardy by purchasing an older car that is cheap to run.

The insurer said that people’s priorities included the make and model of the car (something cool to be seen in), colour and how cheap it was to insure, and not, how safe the vehicle was.

We can completely understand insurance being a priority for many people, but on the flip side of the coin, we appreciate that safety should be of paramount importance too.

From a parent and young driver’s point of view, the costs of getting a car and insuring it are astronomical so if there is any saving to be made, people are surely going to take it. Everyone knows that insurance for young people is a joke and all too often runs into the thousands. This would wipe many people out financially and this is before you have even purchased a vehicle! After sorting insurance out, most people will only have a few hundred pounds to spare and they are going to get whatever vehicle they can afford. This is never going to be something new on the market with all- singing, all-dancing, safety features.

Car insurance companies need regulating better in our opinion, they are running riot and the cost for insurance is getting out of control. Young drivers are literally being priced off the roads. Better regulation and cheaper premiums could benefit all parties. If insurance premiums weren’t so expensive, people would be able to afford better cars with higher safety ratings and this would enable greater safety on our roads, and would also help the car industry with sales of new cars going up.

We must finish this piece by echoing what the research highlights though. Even though we are a finance site and our main aim is to talk and offer tips on money, saving and budgeting etc, we appreciate that safety should always come first.

Cars that don’t have electronic braking systems and don’t have 5-star safety ratings are not fit to be running on the same roads as other vehicles that do boast these systems in our opinion.

Always put safety first, we appreciate it will be hard when finances are stretched but try and get the balance as right as possible.

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