It is fair to say that nowadays UK drivers are dealing with more strict testing and the pressure of vigorous costs than previous generations.
Skilfully performing manoeuvres such as ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘three-point turn’ no longer exist. 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.
Additionally, there is a rise in the price of driving (e.g. cars and insurance). 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’.
Provided with £2,500, the presenters were instructed to buy a car and insure 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.
Now, before we dive into analysing the data, we need to consider the effects of inflation on the sterling pounds over the last ten years. Prices in 2019/20 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.
For a fully comprehensive policy in 2020, a 17-year-old would have to pay averagely £1,036, according to Money Supermarket. We’re pre-emptively taking that out of our overall budget.
So, let’s take a look at the top three cars that can be suitable for a 17-year-old in 2020, with a budget of £2289.67.
The Audi A4 Estate: £1,995.00
A used Audi A4 Estate 2.0L will cost approximately £2,000. 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.
You will need regular Audi servicing to keep the car in shape for longer!
Old models of the Audi A4 experienced handling and transmission issues in the past. But by the time we reached the 2005-08 generation, these problems had been ironed out.
For a 2.0L engine, the S-Line model can run up to 167bhp, this way you won’t have to worry about finding power when you require it.
This five-door comes with plenty of space, including 442 litres of luggage capacity when you lift all seating. 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.
Despite being a vehicle from 2007, the Audi comes with an array of advanced technology. Cruise control and electric seats are certainly enough to make those long road trips that little bit more comfortable.
You could also spend the leftover cash on a Pioneer Bluetooth system and subwoofer if you wanted to replace the standard Audi radio.
The Skoda Fabia: £1,995.00
Several years ago, Skoda did not have a good reputation, especially when it came to reliability. Failing to deliver in this and many other areas, they often ridiculed themselves.
It took a major investment from the Volkswagen Group for Skoda to rapidly convert itself in one of the most wanted cars on the market. 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.
It sounds fair to say that many taxi drivers now rely on Skoda, proving how respectable the brand truly is.
For the same price as an Audi A4, you could get a 2011 Fabia. Be assured that you’ll be able to save money by getting returns of 55 mpg. Although it’s only a 1.6L diesel, the 103 bhp engine is enough to outweigh many alternative small cars.
Inside this vehicle is modern and ergonomic, with a multimedia system that includes a satellite navigation system to guide you through your journeys without a road map.
The BMW 3 Series: £1,995.00
The BMW 3 Series model was fabricated between 2005 and 2011 and it reflects the classic German engineering quality.
This is a stunning car for many reasons. 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.
Despite its mid-range size when compared to the other two vehicles detailed above, this car comes with a tremendous boot space.
The 3 Series, unlike the A4, offers rear parking sensors to help you fit perfectly into all types of parking spaces.
Steering wheel controls are helpful as they assist drivers, especially new drivers and learners, to keep constant watch of the wheel.
Unfortunately, as shocking as it might sound, the BMW bears the lowest mpg return, with approximately 28 in the city.
In 2009 Volkswagen Golf MK III, a Hyundai Scoupe, and a Volvo 940 Turbo Estate were picked as the top 2 vehicles by Top Gear. Who would’ve thought things would have changed this much…?