First Car

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by meandmycornet, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member


    My new year's resolution is going to be to learn to drive! I've been planning to for ages but keep putting it off (and my wonky ankle didn't help matters!) but I'm definately going to do it this time!

    I'm obviously going to have to buy a car at some point, probably once I've actually learnt seeing as I'm going to be at uni (so won't be for a while yet!) but it already causing huge debate in my house!

    Mum says I shouldn't get anything older than an S reg, because it will be rubbish and end up costing me the earth in car insurance and the earth in repairs.

    I think I should get something rather more modest (and cheaper!) because a lot of people have told they've trashed their lovely first car with months of having it! Now that would be a waste of money!

    I've done an insurance quote on autotrader for a lovely M reg Nissan Micra (I want one of those!) that is currently on the market for £650, and the insurance is about £610 a year if Mum is the named driver and I'm the 2nd driver sort of thing.

    Is that good? Anybody got any tips for getting the best deal? what I should get, do etc and anywhere other than autotrader that I can look?

    Thank you!

  2. Veri

    Veri Member

    Ooh, exciting! It's so handy being able to drive, definitely worth learning, and hopefully you can practice by driving to and from band (that's where I got all of my practice in!).
    If your family will let you drive their cars, then do so as long as possible! as you've found out, it's cheaper than insuring a car in your own name, and they might pay for the petrol too :) Otherwise, you will only get cheap insurance once you've had no crashes for a while. Ooh, and when you do get a car, make sure you think about where you're going to park it - that affects the insurance cost too, and also affects its ability to start when it is cold...
    I have only just got my own car, despite having had a licence for 5 years, and it's actually my Dad's old one that I learnt to drive on. The car is a bit confused because it now lives outside, in Oxford, as opposed to in a nice garage in Devon. I haven't tried taking it to band yet, which I'm sure will confuse it even more, as I now play in a completely different band!!
  3. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    I don't know if that quote is any good or not - you need to phone around and compare. I insure through my car Admiral, and they do a claims builder policy which would be good for you if you were insuring it yourself. Basically, you get a policy that lasts for 10 months instead of 12, but they give you a full years no claims bonus. It's pretty reasonable (well, it is for me, but then I'm more than 10 years older than you!)

    Older cars aren't necessary money pits - if you get the right one. Until a couple of years ago, I had an 1989 (F Reg) Astra which I did about 50,000 miles in (nearly two years mileage! :biggrin:) and I hardly spent a penny on it. Since someone wrote that off for me by squashing me on the motorway :(, I've had a 1998 (R Reg) Rover 114, which I love to bits but has cost me a fortune to keep running over an equivalent sort of mileage. I think Nissan Micra's have a reputation for being pretty bomb proof - there was a school of motoring near me that used 1990 Micra until the last few months or so. I hate to think what his mileage was!

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  4. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Whether the quote you've got is any good or not depends on a number of things. Is it Comprehensive or Third Party, Fire & Theft? Is the 'garaging' address you've given 'actually' where the car will be kept for the majority of the year? Is the insurance based on the correct 'insured' driver?

    You also have to be very careful as far as the name you insure it in. If the car is yours and it is owned and registered in your name most (emphasise 'most') insurers will not allow you to insure it in the name of anyone else - even if it is a parent.

    My advice is shop around. is a good place to start. There are a lot of insurers that do specialise in young drivers and are very competitive. Always tell the truth - if the car is yours - insure it in your name. The last thing you want is to insure the thing then have a claim refused because of something you didn't reveal.

    Good luck and happy hunting.
  5. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    Don't get a mercedes. Even an old mercedes cause apparantly they're very expensive but I don't have a clue :tongue:
  6. Liz Courts

    Liz Courts Active Member

    Buy my car! I bought a new one yesterday and now mine's up for sale...a little more expensive than the Micra though...:-? :D
  7. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    I was put on my parents insurance to start with, but i think my advise would be to "go it alone!" and start building up your own no-claims so you will get cheaper car insurance for yourself quicker-

    I had two really good quotes from Flexi Bell and Diamond.- they matched the price i was paying as an extra on my parents.
  8. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I would say a Micra was a decent first car. OK its hardly likely to set the world (or the road) on fire, but it should be pretty well screwed together and not too bad to insure.

    You will be, basically, ripped-off by any insurance company. That quote seems OK, but always shop around - I still do now, even after 18 years of driving and having a full no-claims bonus. I saved £150 on my last insurance renewal by spending an afternoon shopping around online, so if its worthwhile for me, then it has to be worthwhile for you. I'm not sure how good their provisional / new driver policies are, but try . At least with their site you can quickly change things to see how it affects the premium.

    It might be worth getting your parents to insure you as a named driver, until you pass your test, but once you're out and qualified I would suggest you go it alone, and get your own insurance policy.
  9. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    Interesting fleeting statement Ian. Obviously you have statistics to prove that. The kind of statistics that insurers have that say that youngsters and inexperienced drivers cost them more money than anybody as they are more likely to be involved in an accident.

    And if a somebody who pays £610 in premium is involved in an accident it will cost the insurer a darn sight more than that in claims payouts.

    On Topic: Already mentioned are Diamond - a good bet for young females and Norwich Union also have a specialist policy.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  10. sugarandspice

    sugarandspice Active Member

    My parents were with norich union (with me added)- when it came to re-newing policy in my name there was £1000 difference in the price between daimond and norich union. Unfortunatley they didnt quote me happy!!
  11. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Yup it is a fleeting statement, and no, as I'm sure you are well aware I don't have any statistics to back it up. However, I do have a degree of bitter expeirence of being a young driver making [a not at fault] claim on my car insurance, and if you take Fi's example above, basically by by-passing the system it costs her the same to insure the car as its actual value. I'm sure if she tried to gain insurance as a provisional driver that premium wouls double (?) triple (?) - and that would be for a supervised driver. So thats almost like saying she will have an accident. I know these things are complicated and indivdiual claims can run onto much more than the value of the car, but as I see it there is a large amount of insurance companies taking advantage of effectively a captive market.

    Anyway, whether my statement was right staitsically or not, personally I feel it's always best if you shop for any insurance with a mindset of they're going to give me the least they can get away with for the most they can charge.

    ANyway, I guess, as you rightly say thats not the topic - maybe we can discuss this over a pint sometime - are you at Butlins? ;)

    BTW My first car was a VW Beetle - registered 8 month before I was born. I still think that was my best car - I boutght it for £850 and sold it three years later for the same. It never went wrong and didn't owe me anything. I still see it around too. I wish the cars I have had since have been the same...
  12. Not many people realise this, but even a small, economical car will cost upwards of £1500 a year to run, including petrol and depreciation etc. With $600 insurance, it might be closer to £2000+.

    Some links...

    The aa, for a competitive online insurance quote -
    The AA are a broker who search a database of insurers for the best quote, and I've found them to be very good in the past.

    VED rates -
    100-120 CO2 qualifies for £40 or £50 VED.
    Under 100 qualifies for £0 VED, but only a few electric cars and hybrids seem to qualify - see here, .

    Links to search engines for choosing a car -

    Car search which can specify
    - 45+ MPG
    - 120 max CO2 (for VED of £40-50)
    It finds 206 vehicles.
    (aso consider this one )

    Car search which can specify
    - 60+ MPG
    It finds about 60 vehicles, also showing the CO2 rating in the results.
    It can also specify transmission type, eg. automatics only.

    Running cost calculators -
  13. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    I always find that although I have been in insurance since leaving school (OMG :eek: - that's 28 years now) it is still difficult - nigh on impossible - to convince people that statistics don't lie.

    Anyhow, yes I am Butlins with Redbridge so as I missed you at Leicester would only be to happy to have a pint with you :D

    BTW My first car was a Ford Cortina 1600cc - and it was a piece of carp ;). Although it did last many years and even got me down to Folkestone with 5 passsengers and a top speed of 55mph. It died soon after.
  14. Veri

    Veri Member

    It depends on who you insure with - my Dad is insured with Direct Line, and they transfer your named driver no claims bonus to you! Which saved me £300.

    The list of resources is useful,but I'd like to add - you put in all your details and it spits out how much about 30 different insurers will charge you.

    I have to say I don't really understand the difference between comprehensive and third party...
  15. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Any Insurance company that finds out that Fi is driving while sitting in Booster seat and with blocks fitted to the pedals, so her little legs can reach them, will want a HUGE premium! :D
  16. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    Personally, I've never found that the AA have EVER given me a competitive quote for anything! Then, once I contacted them, it took years to stop then sending me a totally uncompetitive quote every year... seem quite good (pointed me at the Post Office last year for my wife's car - which was someone I wouldn't have thought of for insurance).

    The reduced tax for lower CO2 emissions only applies to post 1999 cars (or was it 2000?) - older cars always pay the higher amount, no matter how clean they are. Also think how often a service is needed - lower interval services cost more!

    I'm supposed to be thinking of a car for my son who is 17 in April... He likes Corsas. I will not be enthusiastic about him having a newer car than mine, which is a 1998 vintage (and ususally has money spent on it once a year - though last Jan, it was a lot :-( ) !

    If you consider a "classic car", then try the owners club for insurance - I've never metter the MG owner club price for my MG...

  17. Veri

    Veri Member

    Corsas are driving instructors cars!!
  18. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Try as many insurance comparison websites as you can - but be warned, the cheapest half a dozen quotes are usually wrong, when you go on the named company's site it's always dearer! 6th or 7th on the list won't be far wrong.
    There are also companies that do special "young driver" policies, Endsleigh is one I think.
    Nothing wrong with a Micra as a first car, doesn't cost much and unlikely to go wrong, parts aren't horrendously dear even when it does. Dead easy to drive, too (although a bit short int he boot department so no good for percussionists....). Age (as long as not silly old) isn't as important as mileage, and too low can be as bad as too high, between 7 and 10 thousand a year is good. an S or T reg Micra should be in good nick if looked after. Most important thing is oil changes, any engine should last over 100,000 miles if properly looked after in the oil department. Neglected ones won't. If the enigne makes a ticking noise that speeds up with the revs, walk away, on Micras it'll be the timing chain, which isn't a cheap repair.
    To go to the extreme, when the Escort Cosworth came out one car magazine tried to insure it for (a) a 50 year old bloke, full no-claims, lived in middle of nowhere and (b) a 19 year old rep using it for work with two speeding convictions.
    The car cost (iirc) about £23000
    Quote (a) was about £1200, fully comp, not unreasonable for a high-performance car.
    Quote (b) was £21500!!! Per year!
  19. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Fi, try for a quote too. Just renewed my wife's car insurance for £100 less than the old company. So that's full comprehensive for £75!! :D
  20. tpcornet12

    tpcornet12 Member

    I agree with this... I drove on my parents insurance for quite a few years believing that as I get older a new policy would be cheaper. It perhaps would have been but the biggest discount you ever get is your no-claims as it demontrates driving history. I'd driven for about 6 years no points or accidents etc and still paid £700 on a 1200 Nova... punishment for being male! Also, best to pay the big premiums before you mortgage your life away when it could be more of a problem.
    Good luck with it, and I would suggest a Micra would be a very sensible choice.