Cheap cars putting lives at risk

New research reveals that new drivers are putting their lives at risk by spending too little money and not having basic safety checks carried out on their cars, increasing the breakdown risk.

Statistics show that 40% of first time car buyers do not carry out any vehicle checks on their car until the MOT is due, and more than half (52%) of drivers under the age of 21 spend less than £500 on their first car.

Cars valued at under £500 are less likely to have adequate safety features, including anti-locking braking systems (ABS), traction control and airbags. As a result, motorists are twice as likely to be injured in an accident in a 10-year-old car than in a new car.

The research released by Norwich Union reveals that although 35% of parents help their children financially to purchase their first car, few are getting the car properly inspected or serviced. One third of parents said they 'checked the car over themselves' and 34% said they did nothing at all.

Nigel Bartram, underwriting strategy manager for Norwich Union, said: "Norwich Union are advising parents to do everything they can to give their children the best possible chance of staying in one piece on the nation's roads by ensuring they have enough money to purchase a safe, roadworthy vehicle."

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