Choosing the first car for a young driver is a tightrope of meeting expectation from the teenager and balancing it against costs and safety. Sure, you’d love to see the look on their face when you hand them the keys to a sports car, but not at the expense of your own worry.
Pragmatism and practicality should rule over ‘Petrolheadedness’. In ten years, let them buy the car they want with their own money – but until then plumping for a smart, safe hatchback car is a wiser option; here are five reasons that the Kia Picanto could be a car to enjoy for the young driver.
A hefty gas guzzler can cost a motorist up to £515 road tax a year. So while they might smirk as they drive past in their giant 4x4s, here’s your reason to grin back; £20 tax a year. Small, efficient cars such as the 1.0 litre, 65bhp 5-speed Picanto are far cheaper to get taxed, with a first year rate of nothing followed by just £20. This tax figure is based on a CO2 emission of 105g/km.
Always one of the big stumbling blocks for any driver; insurance companies want to be paid handsomely for their responsibility in putting untested young drivers on the road. It is the obvious reason that young drivers tend to go for cheaper, low-power vehicles which are less likely to be involved in accidents. The Telegraph recently named the five cheapest cars for teens to insure and the Kia took its place alongside the Toyota Aygo, Fiat 500 and others, costing an average of £955 for under-25s. In addition, don’t worry about costs if any issues arise – the Picanto comes with a seven-year warranty as standard.
The Picanto is nimble enough at a weight of just £845, with a top speed of just 95mph and acceleration from 0-62mph in 14.4 seconds. These are not figures to be boasting about in the sixth form common room, university or workplace, and no guarantee of safety, but at least but from a parental standpoint they’re more comforting than your youngster driving a hot hatch at 150mph.
A smart and sassy little front-wheel drive motor with an eye-catching design and huge scope for modification such as rear bumper protectors and speedometers (check out Kia Picanto parts and accessories for more), although you might not want to alter anything. Top Gear said: “The ergonomic steering wheel and highly contemporary instruments and switchgear make the Picanto feel strangely grown-up all of a sudden, as does the sense that everything is very solidly stuck together.”
Cost of fuel
We’ve already seen that the low emissions translate to cheap road tax of £20 a year, but this also equates to low petrol costs. Even a meaty 1.25 2 EcoDynamics 5dr is capable of 65.7mpg, while the greener versions are even better. That, added to the cost of the car itself – as cheap as around £8,000 – should make it a perfect option to parent and young driver alike.