It is now more obvious than ever that new drivers in the UK are encountering the problem of stricter test conditions and higher costs – e.g. driving lessons, car insurance and cars themselves – than what previous generations had to face.
The abolishment of the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘three-point turn’ has become legitimised in recent years. In their place, we’ve seen the introduction of ‘driving with a satellite navigation system’ and ultimately, longer driving tests. In the past, in order to complete the likes of a three-point turn, examiners would have to take drivers into quiet, residential areas — often avoiding rather stressful built-up areas and traffic.
As well as this, the gradual increasing costs of driving is becoming even more so of a burden. That got us thinking. It’s been ten years since the Top Gear trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May competed in the ’17-Year-old Challenge’.
The presenters were given £2500 to fund the challenge of buying a car and insuring it. The other minor stipulation was that the car had to be fit for a 17-year old and everything they’d need from it.
Over the last decade, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that economic inflation has took its effect on the sterling. Prices in 2019 are 33.03 per cent higher than they were in 2009 therefore if the Top Gear boys had £2,500, to keep things fair, we’d have £3,325.67, embarking on the same mission, ten years later.
According to Money Super Market, the average price for a 17 year old to get insurance in 2019is £1,036 for a fully comprehensive policy. We’re pre-emptively taking that out of our overall budget.
So, given a budget of precisely £2,289.67, here is our top three cars suitable for a 17-year-old lifestyle.
Firstly, Audi A4 Estate at £1,995.00
Priced at around £2,000, a used Audi A4 Estate 2,0L TDI can be bought. Okay, we won’t beat around the bush and suggest this vehicle is low mileage — it’s not. However, although 130k miles on the clock of a low quality car will set the alarm bells ringing in even the most relaxed of individuals, with a car such as the A4, which the RAC described as ‘strong in every department’, you can drive with confidence.
Ensuring that you keep your Audi in tip-top condition can be maintained simply by getting it serviced regularly at a dealership for Audi.
In terms of the handling and transmission problems, this is something that in previous years the Audi Dealership struggled with achieving in the A4. But by the time we reached the 2005-08 generation, these problems had been ironed out.
When searching for a source of power, the S-Line model that we have priced here has a 2.0L engine and delivers 167bhp, meaning you won’t be short for a speedy deliverance of power when required.
When the seats are up, space is in abundance in this five-door vehicle that has a luggage capacity of 442 litres. That said, unfortunately there aren’t parking sensors, meaning if you aren’t the most confident of parallel parkers, this wagon might not be the best suited.
Considering this vehicle is from 2007, this Audi is technology well ahead of its time. Cruise control and electric seats are certainly enough to make those long road trips that little bit more comfortable.
We all know 17-year-olds have a great affinity with music and thanks to the cash you’ve left over, you could easily replace the standard Audi radio with a Pioneer Bluetooth system and subwoofer.
Next up, Skoda Fabia – £1,995.00
At the butt of the joke, Skoda have made a name for themself over the years in the motoring world for failing to deliver in numerous area – so much so they have often made fun of themselves!
However, Skoda quickly one of the most desired cars in the industry after a huge investment and a takeover from the Volkswagen Group. The Fabia shines bright like the Polo or the A3, while the Octavia exists as a fierce rival for any executive saloon in the modern motoring world.
To realise how much this brand has developed over the year, you only need to take a step outside to see how many taxis drivers now depend on Skoda for their job.
For the same price as an A4 would be, the 2011 Fabia will help reassure you that in the long run, the returns of 55mpg it has will help keep costs down. Although it’s only a 1.6L diesel, the 103 bhp engine is enough to outweigh many alternative small cars.
A road map isn’t necessary with this car, a combination of the multimedia system that includes satellite navigation as well as the interior ergonomic aesthetic, this car really encapsulates a sense of modernity.
How About a BMW 3 Series for £1,995.00?
Manufactured between 2005 and 2011, the BMW 3 series is not shy to the sheer high-quality expectations that the German engineering company strive to achieve.
This car is a site of utter beauty- so to speak. Superbly, designers took heed of previous customer feedback and assigned it to the development of this 3 Series with an emphasised focus on interior space and standard equipment taking precedence.
In comparison to the aforementioned vehicles, this is considered a mid-range vehicle in terms of spacing. However, this car sure makes up for it in boot-space.
Worried about squeezing into those tight parking spaces and going over unforeseen bumps in the road? Unlike its German counterpart, the A4, the 3 series is equipped with rear parking sensors to help you out with your manoeuvres.
For those who’ve just passed their test, the steering wheel controls act as a great assistance when driving, therefore full concentration at all times can be maintained.
It’s a rather common fact that BMW does deliver the lowest mpg return at around 28 in urban conditions.
Standing on the top step back in 2009, Top Gear chose the Volkswagen Golf MK III, the Hyundai Scoupe and the Volvo 940 Turbo Estate. Oh, how times have changed.