First Car for a Young Driver - peterdfoster

We decided to get our daughter her first car which we acquired at the weekend - A manual 2007 Toyota Aygo 998cc 3 cylinder model.

She has driven the car and tells us that she cannot cope with the clutch and would like me to sell it and buy something else.

She tells me that when she manoeuvres the Aygo at low speeds there is a juddering sound. She says that when she has her driving lessons (in a 4-cylinder Ford Fiesta) she has been taught to manoeuvre the car at low speeds by using the clutch only and leaving the accelerator alone.

So I took the Aygo into the garage this morning and the technician took it for a test drive and told me subsequently that there is nothing wrong with the car. I explained the situation with my daughter and he explained that the engine in the Aygo, being high-revving/3-cylinder, will always need working hard relative to a 4 cylinder car such as the Fiesta she uses for her lessons. He said that my daughter will never be able to manoeuvre the Aygo at low speeds using the clutch only because of the high-revving nature of its engine. He added that the "juddering" she can hear is just the car beginning to stall because of her failure to use enough revs.

So my question is this. (And not before time, I hear you say....) Can anyone please suggest some cars which are similar in size, insurance cost and general running costs to a Toyota Aygo but which will enable her to manoeuvre the car a low speeds without using the accelerator.

Thanks.

First Car for a Young Driver - mss1tw

A diesel......or she could just, you know, give it a tiny dab of accelerator. :-S You should see me driving my parents Civic after weeks in a diesel Berlingo, either revving it too high or stalling it.

Takes me all of, oh at least two minutes to get used to it though.

Talk about first world problems.

First Car for a Young Driver - unthrottled

Talk about first world problems.

I don't think that's entirely fair. It tends to be the accelerator rather than the clutch that's the problem. Petrol engines that have large throttle bodies for their engine size can have a highly non-linear response. You press the accelerator a little bit, nothing happens; press a little harder and the revs sream up to 3000. Driver instinctively lifts off and promptly stalls.

The problem doesn't get adressed because they're concentrating on the clutch pedal.

I've had a fair bit of amusement watching experienced drivers maneouvre my car with the inevitable revving, jerking, bunny-hopping and stalling.

First Car for a Young Driver - mss1tw

Talk about first world problems.

I don't think that's entirely fair. It tends to be the accelerator rather than the clutch that's the problem. Petrol engines that have large throttle bodies for their engine size can have a highly non-linear response. You press the accelerator a little bit, nothing happens; press a little harder and the revs sream up to 3000. Driver instinctively lifts off and promptly stalls.

The problem doesn't get adressed because they're concentrating on the clutch pedal.

I've had a fair bit of amusement watching experienced drivers maneouvre my car with the inevitable revving, jerking, bunny-hopping and stalling.

None of which changes the fact that a modicum of effort can remove the (Minor) problem entirely. Find an empty car park and practice the delicate touch required on the throttle, problem solved in around half an hour!

I even admit to bunny hopping etc in my post - but I wouldn't say to the person lending or buying me a car "Do not want."

First Car for a Young Driver - unthrottled

I sympathise with this situation. I learned to drive in a diesel where hill starts did not require any input from the accelerator. Big shock when I came to a carby petrol engine that stalled if you looked at the clutch pedal the wrong way. A few stalls at critical junctions and the confidence ebbs away. That said she will get used to it with perseverence.

All 3 pots will be more juddery at very low speeds compared to 4 cylinders-you only have a power pulse every 240 degrees rather than 180.

Of the small engine cars I've drivren I thought the Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 twinport had a very forgiving clutch and-for its size-was very tractable at low speed. Cheaper than the Aygo to buy, but probably not to run.

First Car for a Young Driver - skidpan

At some point she has got to get used to driving cars that are different to the Fiesta she passed in, might as well start now.

Does she actually realise how lucky she is, my first car cost £75, had sod all brakes, sod all steering, serious structural corrosion, no central locking (immaterial since you dared not open the passenger door), no electric windows, no seat belts etc, etc. I was just grateful that it passed the MOT and pretty much started first time in the morning. The clutch was hydraulic and so heavy you need a power assisted leg. Since then its been getting better every time I have bought a car.

First Car for a Young Driver - unthrottled

Does she actually realise how lucky she is, my first car cost £75, had sod all brakes, sod all steering, serious structural corrosion, no central locking (immaterial since you dared not open the passenger door), no electric windows, no seat belts etc, etc. I was just grateful that it passed the MOT

Back in the day there were sod all cars on the road. Nowadays new drivers have to be confident in swiftly pulling out of junctions into small gaps of traffic. Worrying about stalling is an unnecesary and dangerous distraction.

It tends to lead to bad habits such as leaving the car in gear and holding the car on the bite point whilst stationary This can be dangerous and lead to accelerated clutch wear.

I think some of the gung-ho responses are a bit disappointing. Does anyone remember the thread about VW injector failures? Experienced drivers turning into nervous wrecks because their engine cut out and they couldn't handle it. VOSA were informed. Class actions were mooted. Wives and children could have been killed! Not so macho, eh?

First Car for a Young Driver - Bobbin Threadbare

So my question is this. (And not before time, I hear you say....) Can anyone please suggest some cars which are similar in size, insurance cost and general running costs to a Toyota Aygo but which will enable her to manoeuvre the car a low speeds without using the accelerator.

Thanks.

Well it'd be a Pug 107 or Citroen C1....oh wait they're exactly the same car. Not much else for the money on a car of that age, with 2a insurance group/low tax. Nissan Micra springs to mind, as it's a 4-cyl. I'd stay away from a Corsa; having seen one crumple up like a piece of paper in a 30mph shunt, they're a no go I reckon.

Your daughter is a very lucky girl that you a) bought her a car and b) would even consider changing it for her. The Aygo is a good little car and it might teach better habits, because manoeuvering on the clutch all the time isn't too good for the clutch.

First Car for a Young Driver - Bromptonaut

You need to introduce her to my friend Mr Percy Veerance.

My daughter normally drives our family cars, either a Berlingo or a Xantia. Both are diesel.

She also occasionally drives her boyfriend's Pug 107. She reports it as easy to stall but gets by OK. So did her brother the one time he drove it after he and b/f had been to a concert together.

EDIT - I'm not clear form OP whether his daughter has yet passed her test or how many hours driving experience she has.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 14/08/2013 at 16:20

First Car for a Young Driver - The Purifier

Sounds like the only car that she will be happy with is a Fiesta like she's using in her driving lessons.

I'd keep the Aygo but save it until she passes her test. That way it won't interfere with her driving the Fiesta and knock her confidence before passing.

After she passes she will get used to the Aygo. All cars feel different and at some point she will have to realise that.

First Car for a Young Driver - A3 A4

I think all new drivers regardless of age through lack of confindence will have a strong penchant for the vehicle they are learning on.

I was the same myself, I learnt on a brand new Escort Mk3, but there was no way my Dads or even less my budget would stretch to one at the time. I ended up with a 10 year old Mini Van which I hated at the time, juddery clutch, poor brakes, poor reward vision and poor driving position. But in quite a short period of time I mastered it and it made me a much better driver, I even learnt to double declutch!

I'd say stick with the Aygo, and try and get her to build up some confidence with it, at some point in her driving life she will need to drive a car that she won't be familiar with such as a loan car, hire car or even a company car, not all likely to be a Fiesta.

In 20 or so years time, like most of us she will look back fondly to her first car and wish she still had it, just as I wish I still had my Mini Van, happy times!

Edited by A3 A4 on 14/08/2013 at 17:31

First Car for a Young Driver - unthrottled

I don't agree.

If she's passed her test she has demonstrated that she can operate a vehicle. If the clutch issue is serious enough for a driver to refuse to drive it I wouldn't simply hope that it goes away. Stalling could lead to junction accidents which can be nasty-and expensive.

Given the density of traffic on the roads nowadays, muddling through a fundamental operating shortcoming really isn't a good idea.

It amazes me that people obsess about nampy pampy accessories like airbags, 5* safety ratings, ABS, ESP, 4 wheel drive, and all that guff yet are sanquine about more fundamental issues.

All new drivers need to be safe is good visibility, an easy to use gearbox that doesn't baulk, a forgiving clutch and progressive pedals. Anything else is window dressing.

First Car for a Young Driver - A3 A4

Why should she stall at a junction? The problem here is low speed manouvers such as parking.

One would hope that under no circumstances she would be pulling out of a junction without some revs via the accelerator.

Edited by A3 A4 on 14/08/2013 at 18:21

First Car for a Young Driver - A3 A4

Duplicate

Edited by A3 A4 on 14/08/2013 at 18:21

First Car for a Young Driver - brum

My Fabia mk 2 1.2HTP 3 cylinder (70bhp) has a fair amount of idle speed torque (for a petrol) and slow speed manouvering with clutch only is doable. Unfortunately poor fuel consumption may be as a result of the good low speed torque....

However my previous Fabia mk1 1.2HTP(64bhp) was the opposite - very poor torque and non linear throttle at low (idling) speed which was set lower than the later car. Very easy to stall.

Worst was a Corsa Diesel 1.3cdti (4 cylinder) - very unpredictable behaviour pulling away from low idle speeds - often stalling in a highly vocal and alarming manner fetching the car to an abrupt halt - junctions/roundabouts were often nightmares

Best is my 98 Alhambra 1.9tdi (90bhp) - pull away in 2nd if you like without using the accelerator. Handbrake cannot stall this car when its pulling in 1st at idle. Hill starts up 1 in 5 without accelerator no problemo.

Modern small cars in general seem to have poor idle torque, so if you choose to change the car, let your daughter test drive it first and she if can happily park it.

First Car for a Young Driver - dieseldogg

Indeed, both ours started in der 1998 110BHP diesel Galaxy.

(After a 1984 "G" Wagen they thought it the height of sosphistication.)

Passed test in a fiesta or focus if I recall.(probably diesel?)

She will get used to anything (except hanging as ould Bodie used to say)

I must say I commend the instructor in at least attempting to learn his students to drive without excessive throttle.

Though on the other hand I belong to the clutch in OR clutch out school of thought.

cheers

Marcus

First Car for a Young Driver - AngieS

I'd consider changing it to a Fiesta, if she learned and passed in one then she will naturally feel more comfortable.

It takes a good couple of years after passing the test to become a confident driver, it's also the most likely time to have an accident due to inexperience - right now she needs all the help she can get, if shes not getting on with the Aygo and you have the means to change it then I say go ahead...peace of mind is worth it.

On a side note, I test drove an Aygo a while back and didn't like it at all, can't specifically remember why but wasn't the car for me, you got to feel right behind the wheel.

Edited by AngieS on 14/08/2013 at 19:25

First Car for a Young Driver - retgwte

fiat panda is the best car for this class of driver!

First Car for a Young Driver - Chris M

We have a C1 and having driven for over thity years it took me a couple of weeks to get used to the lack of low speed torque. Ours has a rev counter and it's the only car where I have actually used it. To get any decent performance out of it, you need at least 2,500 rpm and preferably 3,000 rpm. Below 2,000 rpm it's pretty dead. The good thing is the engine loves to be revved and makes a fantastic noise in the process. The C1 is now the car of choice in our household, as we still have our CMax which is dull to drive in comparison. We did a 200+ mile round trip on Sunday and there was no question which car we took.

The OP's daughter needs to get used to the different characteristics and learn to enjoy a car which is like a modern day Mini (not MINI). She's a lucky girl to have been bought a car. Perhaps her instructor could take her out? She may listen to a professional rather than her (perhaps wrapped around her little finger?) father.

Edited by Chris M on 14/08/2013 at 22:50

First Car for a Young Driver - Avant

I don't think it's being gung-ho to suggest that your daughter does need to learn to drive different cars, some, perhaps most, of which need a small amount of revs during manoeuvring. The instructor is showing her a technique which works in a particular car and may help her (or may have helped her) to pass her test in that car.

If she gets too much into the habit of driving at very low revs, she could stall in heavy traffic and get flustered if she's hooted at. For her own safety, teach her yourself or get her another lesson on this issue.

The Aygo is a very good choice for a first car and I'm sure she'll soon get used to it.

First Car for a Young Driver - peterdfoster

Many thanks for all the points raised which are valid and well made.

Apologies for not making it clear in my initial posting that the girl failed her test last week. We thought we would get her a car anyway to give her more practice than could be provided by a weekly driving lesson.

I guess now I have a choice. I can either insist that she sticks with the Aygo and overcomes any difficulties with it or get rid (of the Aygo, not the girl....) and get something more akin to the Fiesta she has been used to in her driving lessons.

I got a good deal on the Aygo so probably won't lose anything in re-selling it. But it would be a pain. The trouble is that if I insist that she keeps the Aygo she may use it as an excuse for failure in the future....

First Car for a Young Driver - Chris M

As Avant says, she will need to get used to different cars. I guess she is learning is a fairly new Fiesta and your budget probably doesn't stretch that far. If you were to replace the Aygo with a Fiesta of a similar vintage, I imagine the clutch will still be different to what she is used to, as will other aspects. I still think she should persevere with the Aygo and get lots of practice in it to help pass her test next time.

First Car for a Young Driver - dadbif
My eldest son learnt in one of these, he has always been a careful and considerate driver.
m.flickr.com/#/photos/29485695@N02/5948203972/
First Car for a Young Driver - RichardRohn

For me they choose a pretty nice car and for beginner it is not bad.

First Car for a Young Driver - thunderbird

Do not sell the Aygo and buy her a Fiesta (or any other car). Simple fact is the instructors car is very probably new and you will be buying an old Fiesta, there is no way on this planet it will drive the same as a new one.

Make her drive the Aygo and she will get used to it. perhaps the instructer willtake her out in it instead of the Fiesta to demonstate that it is possible to drive the car.

Perhaps telling her its the Aygo or sitting next to Mr Smelly on a bus for the rest of her life will focus her mind on adapting to different vehicles.

I had to drive whatever I could afford, no nice 6 year old Aygo's in my youth. They have it far to easy today.

First Car for a Young Driver - unthrottled

I had to drive whatever I could afford, no nice 6 year old Aygo's in my youth. They have it far to easy today.

Yeah, yeah, I've done my share of changing-gear with-a-coat-hanger-connected-to-the selector-forks, monkey-wrench-on-the-steering-column-'cus-I-can't-afford-a-steering-wheel etc etc. driving too. I have to say that one of the easiest cars to drive was a morris minor. In many respects it was more intuitive than a modern car. Life might have been more basic 'back in the day', but not everything was as Monty Python as people like to remember.

Edited by unthrottled on 15/08/2013 at 16:02

First Car for a Young Driver - unthrottled

Apologies for not making it clear in my initial posting that the girl failed her test last week. We thought we would get her a car anyway to give her more practice than could be provided by a weekly driving lesson.

Ah, that's a bit different. If she's not up to test standard then simply more practice is required. If switching between dissimilar cars is a problem, then leave it to the instructor-easier for everyone's nerves! I used to practice on my mum's car and ended up wasting half the paid lesson trying to adapt back to the instructor's car.

First Car for a Young Driver - Driving School East London

I run a driving school in Romford called Book Learn Pass and we often have students who have had a few driving lessons with a parent or friend's car and then spend the first few lessons with us trying to overcome bad habits they have been taught.

All our driving instructors in Hornchurch and driving instructors in Hackney are taught to wipe the slate clean and teach each student as they would a novice and in most cases it only takes a few hours to overcome said habits.

In regards to a first car, we always recommend new drivers start out with a small under 1.3 engine, to get their confidence up driving without a driving instructor.

Book Learn Pass | Driving Lessons East London

www.booklearnpass.co.uk/driving-lessons/driving-le.../

First Car for a Young Driver - focussed

Nice try for a bit of blatant advertising - resurrecting a four year old thread.

As an ex-instructor your methods are totally wrong - you shouldn't teach every student as a novice, I'll bet you don't do that on a check-test.

First Car for a Young Driver - Andrew-T

We thought we would get her a car anyway to give her more practice than could be provided by a weekly driving lesson.

All the points above make sense. But you will have asked yourself why you got your daughter a car without finding out whether she would like it. After all, I doubt you would buy your own car without a test drive. It's alovely idea to give her a surprise present, but a rejection may offend?

First Car for a Young Driver - Avant

" The trouble is that if I insist that she keeps the Aygo she may use it as an excuse for failure in the future...."

I'm sure she'll make every effort to pass next time - nobody wants to fail. Even if she takes the test in the instructor's Fiesta, and still doesn't like the Aygo, she has every incentive to save money and buy herself, eventually, a car that she likes: a Ford Ka perhaps.

I suppose, if she wears you down with the 'PLEASE, Daddy' stuff, you could do a straight swap of the Aygo for an older Ka or Fiesta: there are lots around. But you could warn her that it may cost her more in repairs.

First Car for a Young Driver - unthrottled

I suppose, if she wears you down with the 'PLEASE, Daddy' stuff

I think you jump to the spoilt brat assumption rather too readily. An acute stalling problem screws up all your aspects of your driving because all your movements become jerky and unrefined. That means braking, steering and throttle control.

It's like trying to tell a golfer with a hook problem to just hit it straight. The harder they try to hit the ball straight, the worse the hook becomes.

It's hard for us to understand because we are confident drivers. It's not just teenagers. Elderly drivers with 50 years driving experience collapse when their confidence goes. They know that they don't really need 4000 revs to reverse out of their parking space and they know that 25mph isn't an appropriate cruising speed but they still do it.

First Car for a Young Driver - Avant

I'm not jumping to any assumptions: what you say is true enough but that's what we employ professionals for, whether for golf or as in this case driving.

Miss Foster has merely been taught a technique that works on the instructor's Fiesta, but I'm sure that she can readily learn, with the help of her instructor, to adapt her technique to the less tractable Aygo.

First Car for a Young Driver - brum

Elderly drivers with 50 years driving experience ........they know that 25mph isn't an appropriate cruising speed

Isn't it?

First Car for a Young Driver - AngieS

If she recently failed her test then that may signal more of a confidence problem then a problem with the Agyo per se, but of course she'll now associate the stalling with that car so will want rid....it may turn out not to be the car for her after all but I'd say she just needs lots more practice and experience, it's tough being a new driver and and I stand by the fact she needs to be comfortable in whatever car she goes out in, but perhaps persevere a bit longer to see if the problem with the Aygo resolves itself.

First Car for a Young Driver - BigJohnD

I went through a similar process when my daughter passed her test.

In the end, we went for a new car, a Fiat 500. It had a 3 year warranty, "girlie button" power steering, is easy to drive and economical. There was also 0% finance and discounted insurance. I feel much happier that's she's in a new car and not a 6 or 7 year old car which is more than likely to be off the road for the usual repairs and is probably structurally less sound.

First Car for a Young Driver - thunderbird

In the end, we went for a new car, a Fiat 500. It had a 3 year warranty, "girlie button" power steering, is easy to drive and economical. There was also 0% finance and discounted insurance. I feel much happier that's she's in a new car and not a 6 or 7 year old car which is more than likely to be off the road for the usual repairs and is probably structurally less sound.

Very few people I know have the cash buy their kids a new car when the start driving. Most get old Corsas or similar if they are lucky. I can honestly say that I know no one in my age group who got a brand new car for passing their test. One chap got a nearly new Marina but that was never soemthing to boast about.

First Car for a Young Driver - BigJohnD

It's not necessarily having a ready bundle of cash. There's offers around of minimum or zero deposits and 0% finance.

Doing the TCO sums for 3 years, in our case certainly, was chepaer with a new small car.

But it's your money and choice.

First Car for a Young Driver - thunderbird

It's not necessarily having a ready bundle of cash. There's offers around of minimum or zero deposits and 0% finance.

Not all families are lucky enough to have sufficient surplus income to pay a finance deal. If you have several kids you would be doing it for all of them to keep some peace in the house.

Think you are living in cloud cookoo land if you think its the norm.

First Car for a Young Driver - hillman

I think this is a question - not a problem - for our lady BRs to advise on.

When I was taught in a school car - more than 50 years ago - it was a Ford Anglia with reverse rake back window. The engine was tweaked so that the idle speed was high, and that made manouvering much easier. When the car was changed for a brand new one, with factor settings, it was a harder task to reverse into a parking place.

First Car for a Young Driver - hillman

Sorry, "...with factory settings"...

I had a Morris Minor MM for 11 years, side valve engine needing the starting handle more often than not. I don't think it would have been suitable for a girl. My two sons learned to drive in it in the back garden (quite big garden). In the dry season it was OK but in the wet season driving on the lawn rutted it quite badly. They took a while to get used to reversing it down the path and regularly got one back wheel over the 9 inch high wall. When I returned home from work it was up to me to get it back onto the path until I taught them how to heave it sideways with two pedestal jacks.

I think that 25 mph might be too fast in town. We have several nearby 20 mph areas.

First Car for a Young Driver - Andrew-T

I think this is a question - not a problem - for our lady BRs to advise on.

I'm not a lady BR, but my own two daughters went through this about 25 years ago. We added an old-style Mini to our fleet which was theirs to use, and one of them perfected the art of leaving it with a few spoonfuls in the tank, for someone else to fill ...

I wouldn't advise getting a brand-new car for a novice driver, even if the expense is not a problem - it may just add to trepidation about damaging something new. Get something manoeuverable, parkable and cheap to insure. Steer away from pseudo-Chelsea tractors (in both senses). Small and trendy is likely to go down best.

Edited by Andrew-T on 18/08/2013 at 19:26

First Car for a Young Driver - Bobbin Threadbare

I have driven all sorts of cars from the late 90s Corsa I learnt in to an Audi R8 on a track day. Part of driving is learning to adapt and react to information of any sort. It takes a while to get used to clutch-work for many people but it's not impossible with a bit of patience. My own first car was a Focus with a very high biting point. My subsequent car would set off in second with almost no gas, my MX5 needs a good welly of accelerator.

I'm not sure how this is any different for a bloke...?

First Car for a Young Driver - daveyjp
The instructors car may also be a diesel, always handy for clutch creep using engine torque. Far better to get her used to the Aygo, but be warned early Aygo clutches were prone to early failure, i.e. less than 20,000 miles, so if she goes around slipping the clutch while manouvering someone will be digging deep for a replacement.
First Car for a Young Driver - Graham567

" if she goes around slipping the clutch while manouvering someone will be digging deep for a replacement."

Just had my son's done. £300 fitted.Two out of the three rivets had broken and made the clutch flap about.The clutch plate itself still had plenty of life left in it but was replaced as it came as a kit.

Very bad flimsy design and was stamped 'Toyota' on it.Made to a price me thinks!.


First Car for a Young Driver - hillman

I taught my wife's friend in our antique Ford Prefect, a sit up and beg type with a starting handle. My wife's friend was a nervous girl who wanted to give in and found all sorts of excuses. She couldn't get used to the steering so I showed her how easy it was by taking the steering wheel while she did the throttle work. Then she said that the ornamental handle for the bonnet catch was misleading her (it was an aeroplane with wings) by pointing off straight. It was straight, but from where she was sitting in the drivers seat it did look that way. So, I stopped the car and adjusted the aeroplane until she said it was pointing in the right direction then I told her that she shouldn't be looking at the bonnet anyhow, but looking at the road. She got the idea eventually and turned out to be a good driver.

That car had a side valve engine, three forward gears and almost no synchromesh. It only needed first gear for starting from rest and usually ran in in top gear in town, slipping the clutch a bit for corners. A really civilised car.

First Car for a Young Driver - P3t3r

She needs to get used to the car. I have one myself and they are very easy to drive. Torque is very good at low revs and you can manuvre it without gas at low revs but it does need a delicate foot and slow acceleration. My previous car had a larger four cyclinder engine (and much better acceleration) but had much less torque low down, so it was much easier to stall and almost impossible to drive without the accelerator.

Does it have air con and is it switched on? Air con does give a bit of a kick when it comes on and it can make it more likely to stall.

I would suggest practicing in an empty car park if she's still struggling.

First Car for a Young Driver - slowdown avenue

can you manoeuvre with out gas in the pug

most modern small petrol cars can , the revs go up on there own . electronic intervention. best get her a polo sdi or rio diesel

no good moving off at busy junctions without a revving engine whatever the car

 

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