Window Shopping for Cars. Reality vs Fantasy - Diary of a Learner | Driving Test Success

Window Shopping for Cars. Reality vs Fantasy - Diary of a Learner

Diary of a Learner

Growing up all my friends were into cars while I was more interested in the music scene. Which I suppose is fine, but it now means I have virtually no knowledge of a car from a buyer's perspective. As long as it has a steering wheel, four wheels, a nice colour and good speakers I'm happy.

I might not have known a Daewoo to a Daihatsu but I knew there was one particular car I really liked. It was the Chrysler Crossfire. Like probably every other new driver I went to the Auto Trader website to do some window shopping. I expected the Crossfire to be at least £10k and so I was amazed to see it available for just £3k. Perfect, I thought to myself, that's the car I'm getting! That was easy! I rang my dad and told him that I was getting a Chrysler Crossfire. He sounded quite bemused and told me to look at the MPG and compare it to a normal car. So I did. The Chrysler Crossfire was a miserly 18 miles to the gallon! The Fiat Panda on the other hand was nearly four times that amount! Looks like I'll leave the Chrysler Crossfire for when I have a mid-life crisis or when petrol prices become as cheap as they are in Dubai. I rang my dad to let him know I didn't want a Chrysler Crossfire any more (looking back I chuckle at the idea that this was even a possibility).

Out of the blue my dad declared that he was giving me his Volkswagen Bora. I was elated. Despite never really being in to cars I always had a thing for his car. It seemed sturdy, had a nice design and always felt smooth when he was driving. I'm one of the lucky ones I thought to myself, I didn't have to save up for a car or even look for cars. I instantly went on to GoCompare to look at car insurance costs for his car. I typed in the relevant information, reg number, engine size etc. The website started calculating insurance quotes. And then, it came up with a number I never imagined I'd see. £2800 per year to insure me in that car. After doing some reading in to factors affecting insurance quotes I realised that the major sticking point was the engine size. My dad's Volkswagen Bora has an engine size of 1.9. Initially this meant nothing to me. Eventually after speaking to people it turns out 1.9 is (and I quote) ludicrously high for a learner driver to have and that was why insurance companies were quoting extremely high prices.

I experimented with this theory offered to me. I changed the information on the car on GoCompare bringing down the engine size from 1.9 to 1.6. The quote halved to £1400. And that was that decided there and then. I wasn't getting a Chrysler Crossfire and I wasn't getting my dad's Volkswagen Bora. Back to the drawing board and it's time for me to read up on what aspects of a car are important to consider and what affects the cost of insurance.

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