It's that time of year when freshers and students flood into university towns across the country as they start or return to university. Many of those may be younger drivers, independently managing a car for the first time for whom the costs of funding a car and keeping it running is quite daunting. As younger, inexperienced drivers fall victim to the highest insurance premiums and the up-front costs of buying or leasing a vehicle add up, we have compiled tips and suggestions to make the most out of car and get the best economy and use out of your car.
Consider specialist insurance options
One of the most frequently asked questions from customers visiting our website is about insurance deals for younger drivers. We know how difficult it can to find affordable insurance for individuals aged 17-22. There are some 'out of the box' solutions to cut down these premiums and make your insurance less of a burden.
Completing extra driving certifications - such as Pass Plus - can help reduce your premiums and also give you more confidence for motorway driving. The Pass Plus scheme needs to be booked with a registered, approved driving instructor and consists of six modules, including driving on motorways and at night.
Choosing a practical car can also make your insurance easier to handle. Having a newer car that has a smaller engine, is seen as safer and more reliable and can reduce your insurance costs. We have compiled a list of our top cars for young drivers, considering the insurance groups, tax threshold and fuel economy.
Another way to reduce your premiums would be to get your car fitted with a 'black box'. A black box is a piece of technology that transmits driving data, such as; acceleration, braking, cornering and average speed. Installed out of sight, it will not affect the aesthetics of your vehicle, but aims to develop safe driving skills and helpful tips on all journeys.
For standard cars, avoid premium fuel
Nearly all petrol stations will sell 'high performance' fuels, but there's little to no performance difference for most standard cars. This may differ for sports cars, as they may advice the use to of premium fuels to keep the engine clean.
However, using a good quality engine oil can lead to better fuel economy and provide better engine health. We recommend checking your oil levels regularly and using the recommended engine oil for your vehicle.
Check your vehicle before MOT checks
As around 40% of vehicles fail their MOT on first attempts, making sure your vehicle is prepared for an MOT can save you time and extra labour costs. Many faults can be minor, that can be easily fixed before your MOT and give you the best chance of passing first time. We have compiled a list of pre-MOT checks
which may save you time and money in the long run.
Make sure you get your car serviced regularly
A common misconception is that a service is similar to an MOT. Whilst an MOT will check whether your car is safe and legal to drive, a service will make sure all internal parts are functioning as they should be, making the car more economical.
A service will reduce engine wear by changing oil and oil filters, maintain the brakes and tyres, lower the chance of breaking down and increase the resale value of the car. We recommend servicing your car at least once a year and booking a service couldn't be easier with our online booking service.
Get more for your money on fuel
There are many ways you can save money on fuel - by shopping around and looking for the best prices for fuel and also following our handy tips on improving fuel economy
Get educated on how to fix minor car issues
Having some general knowledge on how your car works is always beneficial. Simple tasks, such as checking your tyres pressures, checking your oil
, topping up your coolant and fitting new wiper blades
can benefit your cars health, increase your safety and give you better fuel economy. We've released a batch of Hands on Help videos, which give you a hands on approach to solving minor car problems and keeping your car in good health. Make sure to check out blog for the latest videos or search for the #HandsOnHelp
Buy a car that offers insurance contributions or free insurance
After the price of the car itself, insurance can be one of the most painful cost outlays for new drivers. One way to avoid this cost would be to buy a car that offers a free insurance or a contribution towards your insurance. These are usually in accordance with a black box being fitted, but can save you thousands of pounds a year by choosing this option. We currently have a few offers running that can save you a large chunk of money on insurance. Make sure to check our new cars page for the latest insurance deals.
Ford offer an insurance contribution, meaning you can receive up-to £2,240 towards your insurance on Ford Fiesta and Ka models. Teamed up with the leading telematics insurance provide Marmalade, this option makes it affordable to drive away a new Ford over 2 years.
Free Insurance offers are also available with Vauxhall, offering 1 year's free insurance when purchasing a new Vauxhall Adam Slam.
Peugeot also offer a Just Add Fuel option, which gives you 3 years of; insurance, servicing, warranty, car tax and roadside assistance on Peugeot 108 and 208 models.