Car for 17 year old - rose
Can anyone recommend a car for a 6'2" tall 17 yr old boy. Cheap to insure, up to £6K to spend. Minis etc obviously out and he won't hear of a fiesta (or skoda!). Any ideas - what was/is your first car, what insurance group is it etc, etc??
Car for 17 year old - DavidHM
Corsa (group 1)
Ka (group 2)
Yaris (group 2), a little over budget new but does have ABS as standard on the new ones - £6500 all in from

I'm 25 and 6'1" - the Saxo/106 are too small for me to be comfortable in. An old Mini is surprisingly good - a mate of mine is 6'2", his fiancée 6'0" and they have two, one of which is an everyday car.

If he wants something larger, I would suggest a 1.4 Focus (group 4) which might should get him a 2-3 year old.
Car for 17 year old - DavidHM
Best Corsa deal is a 1.0 Life with alloys and CD player for £5991 from Makro

Best Ka deal is from - £5495 brand new

The Ka is faster and better to drive, the Corsa is the stylish choice with the lower insurance - and probably safer.

The real safety (if not reliability) choice at this money is the Clio (group 3 IIRC), which has a good level of kit, 4* in the crash tests and standard ABS and side airbags. Should just about get a 52 plate for this money.

And if he wants a hot hatch or something he should spend his own money. You can still cane a 1.0 car; safety, low insurance and fuel economy need to be his priorities for the next couple of years.
Car for 17 year old - flatfour
I notice you ruled out Skoda, the felicia is a really cheap motor P reg with 40 000 on the clock going for under 2 grand.
They drive ok, the insurance is peanuts, they are easy to repair, or cost peanuts if taken to a garage, the tyres last forever, they always start, and if you crash it throw it away and get another.
Car for 17 year old - flatfour
Just though a friend of mine has just bought his son a Hyundai Accent, his mates think its great, 40,000 on the clock, 1 owner from new M reg £350, he needs to replace the window winder, insurance again peanuts.
Car for 17 year old - Gazza
Sierra every time. Cheap to buy, insure, run, maintain and lots to choose from. Get a 1.6 or 2.0 Pinto, non-interference engine so you drive until the cambelt breaks and then slip a new one on.

Do not get a 1.8 CVH though, the light-weight engine makes the handling and steering terrible.

A more modern choice would be a Mondeo. HOWEVER, you lose the rear-drive handling and so you won't learn how to drive properly in a Mondeo (or any other front-drivers).
Car for 17 year old - king arthur
Are you being serious Gazza, or was that whole post tongue-in-cheek?

As for finding a car for a tall teenager, I'm 6'3" and I find Clios and Fiestas comfortable to drive. Don't buy a Pug 106 or Citroën Saxo though, as the pedal position is awful and his knees won't fit under the steering wheel. VW Polo would be another good choice.
Car for 17 year old - Blue {P}
The Fiestas are great in the front, but not so hot in the back unless it's a MK6.

I would suggest a Focus to be honest, they've got plenty of street cred, I'd love one but can't quite stretch my budget enough...

Car for 17 year old - Hugo {P}

I know you've got 6K to spend but, for his first car, why not just get him an older car, such as the Ford Escort Mk5, Vauxhall Astra, Rover 214 etc? I am 6'4" and can fit and drive in any of these without a problem.

You can get perfectly good examples of any of the above for less that a grand, much less than that if you go to auction.

Put the other £5K into a high interest account.

Let him make all his early mistakes in a cheaper car, including a few scrapes etc, keep it until he's 21 and got 4 yrs experience and hopefully some NCD, then either sell, scrap, trade it in against something you can put the other £5K plus interest towards.

As much as I love my children, I would never buy them a new car as their first, unless there is a financial advantage in me doing so.

That way, if they scrape the wing/door etc on the gate post as they reverse into a drive I think "so what as long as the car is still safe to drive - who cares!" not "Oh no that's another £500 to get the car back up to condition!!!!"

I am now 36 years of age and have never paid more than £3k for a car. My current steed is an L reg Xantia, which I love. I paid £1600 at auction 2 and a half years ago and it's basically as good as many brand new cars coming into the show room these days.

Car for 17 year old - DavidHM
The financial argument for buying a new car doesn't add up too badly.

Cost of a new Corsa - £6k minus £4k resale at 3 years = £2k depreciation
Fuel - 36k @ 47 mpg = £2680
Insurance - group 1 so let's say £3k
Repairs and maintenance - one annual service, £400 tops. Nothing else is scheduled to go except maybe one set of tyres, £80.
Tax - £210
Total - £8375

Or an 8 year old Corsa at £1500 minus £400 resale at 11 years = £1100 depreciation, with 12 months' tax and MoT
Fuel - 36k @ 39 mpg = £3230
Repairs and maintenace - done by an independent, six monthly, because you're worried about breakdowns - £400
Maybe a new set of tyres, maybe two, but probably also an exhaust, some shock absorbers, a cambelt, and two MoTs - £375
Tax - £210
Insurance - less value to insure, but also higher insurance group, so £3000 again
Total - £8315

That leaves a budget for anything out of the ordinary of £60, plus of course the interest on the £4500 difference in the purchase price. If he decides he wants to buy a CD player, a set of alloy wheels, and there is a £200 unscheduled repair bill, the old car has worked out more expensive, never mind the fact that most parents want their child driving something safe, reliable and stylish.

I don't have children and so it'll be at least 20 years before I'm in the 'choosing a car for my kids' position, but if I were doing it now, and could afford to pony up £6k without suffering any hardship, I would rather do that than go down the banger route with the associated uncertainty - but also make sure he knew exactly why I was doing it, and how grateful I wanted him to be.

I really hope I'd never be the kind of parent that springs for an SLK or an Impreza though.
Car for 17 year old - Phil G
I disagree - no way does the new car argument make sense financial wise. For a start it is quite likely he'll crash it, or have some kind of ding in it, which is major trauma in a new car. In something sub £1000 you jut accept it and move on. Its also a myth that just because it is new you'll have trouble free motoring.

I'd say get something cheap and a bit bigger/more comforable for a taller driver and spend a bit more on insurance. A late Mk2 Golf Driver is fine for 6' plus. I am 6'7" and drive a GTI with no problems.
Car for 17 year old - Peter D
You mentioned Cheap Insurance and 17 years old in the same sentence. You'll be lucky. I would opt for a late MK3 Golf for the room but the insurance may hurt. Regards Peter
Car for 17 year old - DavidHM
Phil - I admit that I've rigged the figures a little by assuming a dealer price for the used car, and a £2,500 discount for the new one that most people aren't going to get.

However, that £2.5k discount is real and comes with all your consumer rights attached, and most people asking this kind of question, rather than going round the auction houses looking for the ultimate banger are going to prefer at least some warranty and certainty when choosing a used car.

For people who aren't perhaps that comfortable dealing with cars, I do think these are realistic assumptions. As for not caring if a £1,000 car is smashed up - to keep him motoring it either costs £1k to get a new one, or you claim on your insurance and it increases the premium just like with a new car.
Car for 17 year old - DavidHM
Incidentally, has the Ka for £4995.
Car for 17 year old - Gazza
Not really serious King Arthur.

Having said that, my first car, and four friends' first cars in 1997, were all Sierras. I had an G-reg 1.6 LX that did 78k (or 178k or 278k) and a facelifted K-reg 1.8 GLX and both cost me around 250 pounds. Sierras were great for our circumstances as rear-drive is easier to work on, we did around 20-25000 miles a year in our cars (I did 1000 miles the week after my test) and we wouldn't want to a smaller car.
Car for 17 year old - bartycrouch
I would recommend a Polo or another car with low depreciation in its segment. My argument goes like this:

A new or nearly new car sounds great at 17, but the pride soon diminishes when their mates start getting faster, higher-status cars (in the eyes of their friends). They will then want to trade-in, often to an older car, but with more street-cred. I have seen this a few times now, and the change normally happens when the insurance is up for renewal. The less they loose on the first one, they more they have for the next.
Car for 17 year old - bugged {P}
when I was 17, myself and my parents looked and looked and looked at what to get as a first car, they too wanted me to be in something safe and reliable etc etc.

I needed something cheap to run and insure etc etc.

In the end I choose a new nissan micra, 1.0, it was fantastic from day 1, dad did a deal for three years free insurance and servicing. it was a little more than we wanted to spend but the insurance over three years would have been about £1000 a year anyway. It was a super car and never gave me any trouble, it looked after me when i crashed it and held its value nicely.

I would strongly recommend you go have a look at what offers are out there for free insurance etc before ruling out a new car.
it might not have the street cred of a 10 year old golf or escort (in some peoples eyes anyway!) but at least you will know he will be safe. He will have the last laugh anyway when he watches his mates getting towed away in their bangers!!!!!
Car for 17 year old - Andrew-T
Sorry to sound grandfatherly, but although there are plenty of tempting offers on new cars, I am convinced that buying new is a bad habit to start at such a tender age. Unless strange things are happening in the trade, a new car always loses lots of value as soon as it leaves the forecourt. And insurance costs are as they are because young drivers tend to hit things, both fixed and moving. It's much more character-building to learn about looking for a good used car and keeping it running - and a mistake to assume that a brand-new one will never go wrong before you change to the next. One reason to buy used is that the previous owner suffered the nuisance of having warranty work done.

Oh - don't consider a Pug 206 either, pedal box too tight.
Car for 17 year old - twarde
My 17 year old son has a Peugeot 306XTDT which he bought for £900. He's had to spend a bit on for exhaust, battery etc. It's a bigger and hence safer car than the average supermini This is in insurance group 5 and I recommend Liverpool Victoria as the best deal for young drivers.
Car for 17 year old - Hawesy1982
Good call twarde,

I just got my first car at the age of 20, a 306 D Turbo (same as twarde's son but with sporty bits for no extra insurance), upgrading from my mums fiesta.

It looks great, goes faster than all my mates cars and is only group 5 to insure - less than astras, escorts, golfs etc.

The only problem is bits have a habit of falling off occasionally, but so far its all accesory related rather then engine related, such as the electric window clip breaking etc, and even then, these non-crucial bits provide a good start to DIY car maintenence, my Haynes manual is well and truly covered in grease already!

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