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What's The Best Type of Car for a Young Driver?

Friday, December 4, 2020


What’s the best type of car for a young driver?

We’ve covered the various tips that you need to consider when buying a new car. You have to think about price, you have to think about second hand or new and you have to think about parking a huge car! We haven’t however visited the topic of petrol vs diesel, fuel vs electric or engine size. So, we’re going to visit that today. If you’re still doing some research around the best type of car to buy and you want to get down to the nitty-gritty then you’re in the right place.

1. First up, the age-old question petrol vs diesel?

Unless you’re considering buying an electric car (we’ll get to that) then you might be wondering if petrol or a diesel car is cheaper to drive. The average petrol price in Ireland right now is about €1.30 per litre and for diesel it's slightly cheaper. Per litre, diesel is more energy-rich and a little bit more efficient than petrol. A diesel engine that’s the same size as a petrol engine will undeniably be cheaper to run. This fact might have you thinking that your mind is made up. However, it’s very important to remember that as a result, diesel models are more expensive to buy.

Another factor to consider is that diesel engines require regular long drives in order to stay in good condition. If you think that your mileage is going to be pretty low then it might be worth considering a petrol model.

It’s a good idea to speak to your local mechanic. You can discuss your concerns and indeed your options with them and they will be able to advise you.

Remember a car is a big purchase and you want it to last you for a long time, so it’s worth doing extensive research.

2. Consider going electric

When it comes to electric cars, they are undoubtedly cheaper to run. 100% electric cars do not require fuel, so you save on petrol/diesel costs. Electric cars also avail of cheaper insurance rates, which is definitely something that a young driver must consider. Grants are also on offer from the Irish government for the purchasing of electric cars.

However, and this is big, however, electric cars are far more expensive to purchase off the cuff than a standard small fuel-based car.

If you want to avail of a government grant, the minimum spends required will be €14,000. While you might be an avid saver, it is important to consider this sum of money. You don’t want to find yourself in debt, so discuss this subject with your mechanic too!

3. Engine size and horsepower

Before we even dabble in our advice on the size of the engine you should consider purchasing as a young driver there’s some steps to take. It is vital to always ring your insurance broker before you purchase a car. You do not want to purchase a car, ring your insurance broker and find that they will not provide you with insurance. As this will leave you with a car you cannot drive. Irrespective of the research you have done, pick up the phone and ask your broker if the car of your choice will be suitable. They will also be able to give you an estimate on the annual premium which will help you plan your budget.

While you're scoping out potential cars, consider the cylinder, litres and horsepower. A cylinder is the chamber where fuel is burned and therefore turned to power. Most cars have four, six or eight cylinders. Generally, an engine with more cylinders produces more power while an engine with fewer cylinders gets better fuel economy.

The size of a car’s engine is measured in cubic metres (cc) but above 1000 cc is measured in litres. The measurement relates to how much volume the pistons inside the engine displace with each stroke. A large engine will be more powerful than a small one. Horsepower is how much power the car has. The higher the horsepower, the fewer miles per gallon you will get.

Hence, it is therefore a good idea for a young driver to choose a car with the fewest cylinders, a small engine and low horsepower. This is not only a safer option for a relatively inexperienced driver, but it is also a positive for an insurance premium.

4. Know the MPG (Miles Per Gallon)

The fuel economy of a car is the fuel-efficient relationship between the distance travelled and the amount of fuel consumed by the vehicle. Therefore, you should know how many miles you get per gallon. The more miles you get per gallon, the cheaper the fuel bill. It’s vital to know these facts, so expand your research to include this.

5. Consider a safer model

We’ve mentioned this before, but we think it’s imperative to mention it again! You need to think of a smaller and safer model when you’re purchasing a car as a young driver. An Audi for example is not your friend when you’re a new driver. Cars like the Audi range have more horsepower and they also tend to have large engine sizes. After you have been on the road for a few years and provided that you have proven to be a safe driver, then you can progress to a car of this make and model.

At we are experts in young driver insurance. We can get you a great policy and a great price too!