I’ve had my yellow Mini a couple of years now and I love it. It’s pretty reliable (well, apart from the time it broke down) and it’s easy to park, even for a terrible driver like me. I only need it for driving to school and dance lessons, so a small car is perfect for me.
Unfortunately, my eldest thinks it will be perfect for him too.
He’s nearly 16, so he’ll be learning to drive in just over a year. And he thinks he should have my car. Not just use it. HAVE IT.
I beg to differ. Because it’s my car and I need it to transport him and his siblings. Plus, cars for teenagers are ridiculously expensive. They don’t realise that it isn’t just the cost of buying a car. They think they can save up for them because they’ve seen one that is only a few hundred quid. They forget about the astronomical cost of insurance on top of that, not to mention the fuel and tax.
Insuring a car for a teenager to drive is extremely high. It seems that the costs can vary by hundreds of pounds. Some insurance companies just don’t want to insure young drivers at all, so they put the premiums up so high that you just wouldn’t use them. Others are slightly more affordable. But only slightly.
Because teenagers are high risk drivers. Teenagers don’t have the skills and experience of older drivers, plus they tend to do stupid thing. Driving with friends makes them worse as they encourage each other to drive faster or overtake on a bend.
The thought of my son on the road is a worry. I hate the thought of him taking risks, or being put at risk by his friends who are driving.
And if I did let my son have my car, I would need a new one. Would I be able to afford it? I could of course buy myself a new (to me!) Mini for less than £3,000, but that would be older than my current car. And how would I know it would be reliable? I would definitely want to spend more than that for peace of mind.
It’s still over a year away, so I’ve got time to think. What would you do? Let him have my car? Insure him on my car? Or make him wait until he’s a bit older before giving him access to a car?
It’s a tough choice.