Getting my 17 year old on the road - SteveMK
I'm facing the dilemma of many parents. My son is coming up to 17 and keen to get onto the road. I've got about £5k to get him started - car plus insurance. I am totally unclear about how to tackle this - should I buy a car once he has passed his test (and his pass plus)? Should I buy him a car to learn in? Should the car be in my name, or his? What is the best way to get affordable insurance? Should I add myself to his policy? Take a policy out myself and add him to mine?

There seem to be so many ways through this, yet there must be an obvious tried and tested route. I would appreciate the benefit of any experience out there.

Thanks

Steve
Getting my 17 year old on the road - local yokel
A year ago we bought the 17 y/o daughter a Punto 55 (1100, Gp 3 insurance, £995 to buy), which she practiced in with me, while she had lessons in a Lupo. It was insured in her name from the start, for about £750. One year on with her first NCD we got that down to £450 via confused.com, which I think is very good.

Boys are more expensive to insure, by about 50%, so you need to take a view on how much you are prepared to pay, and when. If my daughter keeps up her clean record she will have a full 5 yr NCD aged 22. Personally I wouldn't have spent £4,000 (which I could have afforded) on a car for her, given the use/mileage etc.

One of the reasons we took that route is because SWMBO has an auto Focus, which would not have made sense to learn in, as she was taking a manual test. I drive a collection of bangers which are a bit idiosyncratic, and again, not good learner material.
Getting my 17 year old on the road - bell boy
Buy him a decent corsa 1.2 on approx a "p" out of autotrader £1000 group 2+ insurance and street kred with his mates (do NOT buy the awful 1.0 litre)
Spend £150 on a decent service and any incidentals (back street garage)
Years road tax £110
£35 in the tank
approx £2000 for his own insurance (pay in instalements and do it online its cheaper)
breakdown membership £??? get that and you dont get called out at 2.30 am
Bank the rest
This way he is building his own no claims up and you havent spoilt him with a very newish car that will get bumped in its first year (they all do)and get lumped with big bills for repairs.
My way if car still in one piece in a years time it can still be sold for £695 ish
Getting my 17 year old on the road - SteVee
I don't see the advantage of buying a car before he passes the test - and the pass plus is a good idea. Try to find a driving school that does pass plus as some of his lessons may count towards this.

Make sure he swots up on the Highway Code and knows the theory test answers. There are some reasonable CDs to help in this.

If you don't have recent tuition experience yourself, then leave it to a driving school.

If you see a car during this time, by all means buy it, but retain control and ownership yourself. If he's into modifying cars or GTis etc, let him do that at his own expense. Affordable insurance for 17 year old males is difficult.

Has he got any road experience on pushbikes / scooters ?
Or has he driven cars away from the public roads ?
Getting my 17 year old on the road - 007
Your excellent question could not have been better timed (for me). I have some friends in the same situation so they will appreciate whatever advice Backroomers can offer on this most important subject.

My friend's son wants to take a 'crash course' (unfortunate description!) so as to get mobile asap. I think this would be madness even if a driving school was irresponsible enough to accept a teenager with no roadcraft experience for such a course.

I would have thought it best to spread the learning period over several months (with *lots* of practice between lessons) so that he can gradually become aware of all the hazards which await him.





Getting my 17 year old on the road - MichaelR
Here is what I did at 17 - worked very well.

Was added to parents insurance on their car, and learnt to drive that way. Every time we went out, I drove. I drove everywhere, even several 200mile journeys as well, all with L plates and avoiding Motorways.

Then, once I could drive, I had 6 lessons with a driving school to make sure I could tackle the test. Then I took the test, passed first time, and bought my first car - a 1994 Citroen Xantia 1.9 TD SX.

Worked really well and meant I didn't have to suffer the awful tedium of the 1.2 8v Corsa, perhaps the worst car around today.
Getting my 17 year old on the road - Roberson
should I buy a car once he has passed his test (and his pass plus)?

Pass plus is a great way to bring down the cost of insurance. It brought my first insurance bill down by about £500, if not more. This might be the better option, buying a car after his test as it gives you plenty of time to get out and look and you're not having to pay insurance on a car that?s not being used, or having it cluttering up your drive or garage

Should I buy him a car to learn in?

Not sure. I had my Polo before I passed my test, it had to sit in the garage for a little while. My dad asked my instructor, after a good few lessons, whether he should take me out in it. Because the instructor had now laid the foundations of driving, he said that it would be a good idea as experience is everything. But you have to bear in mind things like:

-will he pick up bad habits?
-will insurance cost a bomb?
-how good a driver is he, will you have to regularly intervene?

Should the car be in my name, or his?

His. Its then his responsibility to tax it etc.


What is the best way to get affordable insurance?

Ring around, lots!! Pass Plus, as mentioned before, is a must. I got TPFT, Social Use only, and a low mileage (7000m/pa), all of which is true and correct, but these are some things the insurance companies don't always ask about. They have a tendency to make assumptions when you get your initial quotes, about its use and mileage etc

Should I add myself to his policy? Take a policy out myself and add him to mine?

No, let him have his own. This way he'll run up his own NCB and it'll be entirely his responsibility.


Personally, i'd avoid Corsas', nothing the matter with the as a car, but a 17 year old boy? The quotes will be even bigger. A few years ago when I was 17, we were told (by an honest insurance company) to avoid Novas and Fiestas because insurance was expensive, and could rise just because of trim level. Things may have changed in the last 3 years though. Also, try quotes for a range of different cars, and see what happens.

This way he is building his own no claims up and you havent spoilt him with a very newish car that will get bumped in its first year (they all do)

Excuse me? I didn?t :-p
Getting my 17 year old on the road - y2k+4
I think the best thing for a 17 year-old from an insurance/car balance perspective is anything Korean or possibly from Suzuki. With £5k, I'm sure you could get a Hyundai Getz 1.1 and insure it. Insurers seem to actually base their quotes on car image in a way. Cars like Fiestas and Corsas are often driven by young drivers and typically are higher risk, than those that have a less sporting image.
Getting my 17 year old on the road - Group B
This way he is building his own no claims up
and you havent spoilt him with a very newish car that
will get bumped in its first year (they all do)
Excuse me? I didn?t :-p


Statistically its likely to happen though! My youngest brother at 17 pulled out of a junction into another car. My other brothers' mate drove into a skip full of rubble at 40mph when he was 17. By the time I went to Uni at 19 I had 6 points and had written a Metro off. (I hasten to add I'm a much reformed, careful, considerate driver nowadays!). My parents' neighbour recently bought their 17 y.o. son a brand new Corsa, and he wrote it off within 4 months. I could go on...

Buy him a low-powered cheap car, let him pass his test, let him get a couple of years experience, then buy him a half decent car if you're still in the mood.
Getting my 17 year old on the road - Dulwich Estate
Have I missed something? Is it such a regular thing? What is all this about 17-year old children being bought cars by mum and dad?

Send'em out to work to pay for their own - that's what I'm doing.

Tell me. Am I a bit odd?
Getting my 17 year old on the road - Xileno {P}
Unwise to spend 5K on a 17 year old. Buy a reliable cheap to run older car and put the balance in a savings account that he can use when he's older.
Getting my 17 year old on the road - lordy
I agree DE. A colleague is doing exactly the same thing. His 17 year old spent last summer on his computer picking his nose, instead of getting a job and saving some money. Now having just turned seventeen, mum and dad have gone out and bought him a 306, and insured it for him. Utter madness.

When he prangs it (which he will), out comes the magic chequebook to make everything alright again.

Knows the price of everything, value of nothing.



--
let me be the last to let you down....
Getting my 17 year old on the road - smokescreen
We dont all get it on a silver platter. The deal I got was the car was paid for, but the insurance and everything else is my problem! It does make me a little sick to the stomach when I do see people getting such easy rides, but I just smile knowing I've developed in some way thanks to this.
Getting my 17 year old on the road - Clanger
Send'em out to work to pay for their own - that's
what I'm doing.
Tell me. Am I a bit odd?


Odd? Certainly not. We are paying for our children to have driving lessons but emphatiacally not buying them cars. Our eldest at 24 has had her own Citroen AX nearly a year. She saved up about £1800 for the project and allocated £800 for the car. I did the deal and fixed one or two things on the car. Ask me if the project has been a success in August after its next MoT...

My son's mate has been bought a Peugeot 206 and has recently failed his first test. Mrs H bought herself a Triumph Toledo before her test and failed the first time.


Hawkeye
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Stranger in a strange land
Getting my 17 year old on the road - Roberson
Statistically its likely to happen though!


Yeah, fully aware of that, thus we're forced to pay higher insurance costs! Probably gone and cursed myself now, the next time I go out, I?ll a have a bump.

SteveMK: has your son said what kind of cars he would like yet? Is he bothered about 'street cred' or age etc?

Getting my 17 year old on the road - daveyjp
If you have the money for a car I'd buy extra lessons instead. If his instructor has the slots get him doing a lesson every other day, he will be in the same car and won't have a full week to forget everything. My dad suggests to all his pupils that they have two lessons a week, pupils who do pass after fewer lessons. He then knows he will be driving and not having to depend on someone else to sit with him (someone who may have less patience than his instructor!).
Getting my 17 year old on the road - local yokel
Do you have a car that is suitable for your son to practice on? I'd suggest that a suitable car was 1600 or less, and Focus or smaller, and manual.
Getting my 17 year old on the road - Altea Ego
This is all most appropriate guys.

Junior TVM will be 17 in September and is sure to want to get wheels ASAP.

We have been salting away large chunks of birthday money into a bond that matures soon. This will be the basis of his first car/insurance step (not buying it for him its 16 years of his money we have infact been diverting!). ONLY after he passes his test.

I will pay his first license fee (geez thats a rip off - whats that now 35 quid?), his mother will pay for 10 lessons via Tesco's clubcard offer, and I will pay every other lesson after that ( he pays the other one )

AFter that he is on his own.
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Getting my 17 year old on the road - Xileno {P}
I got £5 a week and a clip around the ear.
Getting my 17 year old on the road - cjehuk
I got £5 a week and a clip around the ear.


I just got the clip round the ear.

I also didn't write a car off in my first year of driving. In my third however... whoops.
Getting my 17 year old on the road - SteveMK
Hi everyone

This has all been very useful, and plenty of food for thought. For what it's worth, the deal with the car is that my son promised me that he wouldn't get a motorbike and in return I promised I would get him on the road in a car when he was 17!

Regarding the value of the car, my son is a working drummer, although still at school, and he needs something reliable enough to get him around with a ful kit in the back. Hence I was thinking something 5-6 years old would just about be reliable enough. However, I take the point that he might bump it in the first year, in which case I would be looking at a second year of £2k fully comp insurance and no NCB.

I am also interested to note your views about the type of car. I was looking at Corsas, Fiestas, Unos, on the basis that they were small and hence cheaper to insure. However, maybe I should look for something slightly larger, that wouldn't be construed as a boy racer? My son is fairly image conscious, but then he would be happier in a Land Rover Defender than a Ford Fiesta (that can't be a sensible option, can it?).

I am also getting the message about practice, which will ultimately make him safer and less likely to have an accident. I think a few lessons and then his own car to practice in might be the quickest way to his test. He is also interested in a 'crash course' but I can't help thinking that a slow but steady approach would give him more road sense. He hasn't ridden anything on a road before - 2 wheels or 4.

I'll keep thinking, and any further views would be gratefully received.

Steve
Getting my 17 year old on the road - bell boy
you have come up with a snag im afraid.
You have said he is a drummer and the insurance companies immediately dont like to hear this because they think gigs and pubs/alcohol.
Tread carefully with this one.........
Getting my 17 year old on the road - local yokel
Musicians, comedy performers, actors etc. are all heavily loaded for insurance cover, due to issues for the group as a whole with alcohol and late nights. Not sure how he can get around this if he is getting paid for his drumming. You should consult a specialist broker who deals with performers' insurance and can give real advice, as that's going to be imposssible over the web.
Getting my 17 year old on the road - deepwith
What about an old post office type van to get his drums in and stop him taking a car load of screaming friend in? Do get him into lots different cars to make sure he is comfortable - my son has size 12 feet and could not drive Saxos or similar. Very happy in newer shape micra - can get most of set in if he puts seats down. Insurance £1400 in my name with him as named driver which gives him NCB - more expensive as I am using full NCB on main car. It was nearly £3000 to put it in his name.
Agree with older car for first year - no he hasn't pranged it (yet) but it was keyed.
Agree with lesson every other day - made bit difference. Start making him aware of cost of petrol - son has just taken a second job in Tesco to pay for that.
You can get a learn to drive pack from AA (Lidl had it recently) which has highway code, theory and practical test books and large number of free lessons.

Enjoy how your mileage decreases as children get mobile!!
 

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