How much to spend on a first time driver - jayboy
Hi

My missus is taking driving lessons and is progressing alot better than I thought she would, so I am expecting that I will have to fork out for a car in the not to distant future.

Now my problem is I know most people say get an old banger if its her first car cos she will probably crash it, and she can use the bangeer to get experience before getting her a proper car.......but if she does have a crash I don't want her to be in some tin can!

Also if she is gonna be driving me around, i need air con, and I hate the idea of her driving around in a potentially lethal tin can with no creature comforst whatsoever.!

So should I buy her a banger (£500-£1000), or maybe spend around £2-3k on her first car.

Never had to buy a car for a new driver so am completely clueless,and grateful for any views.

Thanks
How much to spend on a first time driver - bell boy
first thing is ascertain what wife wants and can manage to drive and also has aircon and then draw a shortlist of suitable vehicles and appropiate prices,i doubt that a suitable car with aircon working will be found for a grand unless its a big old clonker
How much to spend on a first time driver - jc2
What does SHE want???
How much to spend on a first time driver - Mookfish
A good compromise between a cheap car and safty/comfort could be a mid 90's volvo, although insurance could be expensive depending on age and were you live.

Remember though, there are very few true banger nowadays, as build quality improved so much in the late 80's and early 90's.
How much to spend on a first time driver - Mookfish
As mentioned above though, what would she be happy to drive, ie an older volvo is a bit of a barge for a first car, and true very few smaller cars would have aircon untill a few years ago.
How much to spend on a first time driver - jayboy
She would like a Mercedes A class, but I have explained that they will probably cost around 2-3k.
She loves them as they are compact, but have room inside and is slighlty high up.

I was thinking maybe a Mk3 Golf as I used to have one and it was a nice solid car....just been looking through Autotrader and there are loads about for between £500-£1000.

Air con looks like a no no on anything under 2k :(

How much to spend on a first time driver - Mookfish
If you realy want air con how about a ford escort from about 1997 onwards? The finesse models had air con and can be picked up for about a grand.
How much to spend on a first time driver - jayboy
If you realy want air con how about a ford escort
from about 1997 onwards? The finesse models had air con and
can be picked up for about a grand.


For some bizarre reason even though she has never driven before, she dislikes Fords!

I have a Focus which she likes however as it is very reliable and practical for trips to Ikea.

In truth I think she thinks the Focus is a bit to big for her, as she has commented that it feels like a saloon to drive!
How much to spend on a first time driver - PhilW
How about a Clio? My kids had them, they seem to be popular with young ladies and (I think) they have a good NCAP safety rating. Despite Renault's reputation my kids Clios (one was a petrol, the other a diesel) were very reliable and not too big, not too small - plenty about second hand also.
--
Phil
How much to spend on a first time driver - Armitage Shanks {p}
You could get her insurance down, whatever she drives, by getting her to participate in the Pass Plus course. SFAIK it is 6 hours and about £150 and you just do it and get a certificate - there is no test with a pass or fail.
How much to spend on a first time driver - mike hannon
Mercedes A Class - DON'T.
How much to spend on a first time driver - 659FBE
Ever.

659.
How much to spend on a first time driver - stunorthants
If you want aircon on a smaller older car, try a Honda Concerto as some of them came with it as standard. Also quite nice to drive for an old car. Should be very cheap now.
How much to spend on a first time driver - Aprilia
The A-class was probably MB's biggest mistake, don't even think about buying one. You would not believe how difficult and expensive they are to work on....

Look for something small and Japanese. Relliable, easy to drive and with creature comforts. if its newer than about '98 it will have at least a driver airbag.
How much to spend on a first time driver - local yokel
Think long and hard before spending £2k-£3k - so much that could go wrong on a car of that age that could cost you loads of money - which you will have to spend to protect your original investment. It's called good money after bad...

Either spend up to £999 (eg Primera), so you can throw it away if it dies, or spend around £5k on something decent like a Focus. A facelift (post Oct 01) Focus 1.6 on an 02 is around £4.5k I'd guess, will have AC, airbags, be a super drive, and is generously low on the insurance group.
How much to spend on a first time driver - teabelly
Once you factor in the costs of insurance a brand new car on a good finance deal with 2 years free insurance (assuming your missus is over 21) might work out not a great deal more than buying an older car for 2 or 3k and paying for insurance for that time. Once at the end she'd hopefully have 2 years ncb which will substantially reduce her future insurance costs. You'd be much more likely to get aircon with a new car. Old aircon systems are also a pain and could prove expensive if you pick the wrong car with a duff system.

Have a shop around and find out whether there are any deals like that for cars she'd want.

Anything with large bumpers, good rubbing strips and a tolerant gear box and clutch should be ok :-)
teabelly
How much to spend on a first time driver - jayboy
Thanks for all the advice.

I will try to dissuade her from the A class, and check out what cars are offering free insurance on their cars...forget about that! She is 25 but 2 years free insurance i imagine would still cost a fair whack.

If a new car proves to be costly even factoring in the free insurance, I was think an early Mk4 Golf 1.6 SE would be a good choice...or as someone suggested a Focus...perhaps even my own!


How much to spend on a first time driver - local yokel
A close friend was moving out of the city to the sticks. His wife needed to learn to drive just to get a pint of milk, but he's the sort of chap that walks along looking at the pavement in case some one has dropped a 1p piece.

They came to see us, and as they went they were arguing about the car He was going to get Her (intentional capitals). He was insistent that She did not need anything special to go to the shops in, and he was going to get her a Micra. She was not the sort of Lady to drive a Micra - and even I knew that.

My wife goes to the local town (3 miles) and her mother (25 miles). A Micra would do. I bought her a Focus 1.6. I'm still married to my wife after 20+ years. My close friend divorced his wife after three years, and it cost him about twenty times as much as the Focus I bought.
How much to spend on a first time driver - stevied
Get her to buy her own car? Do some research into it and do it for herself? It is 2006, I believe. Just a thought! : )
How much to spend on a first time driver - cheddar
I second the Clio, we have had a 98 Clio from 2 years old and only 4000 miles, it has now done 42,000 and has been a great car, it still drives as new, bar a few too many dings courtesy of Tesco's car park (and my wife's magnetic attraction to parking next to mangled Series One Land Rovers) the body work has held up well, the interior has shaken off the attention of three kids and it is well equipped with aircon, ABS, elec s/r etc etc. You can pick one similar up for under £2000. Bargain.
How much to spend on a first time driver - cheddar
Sorry, missed a key point, the 98 on Clio has a 4 Star NCAP rating.
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car