A road safety charity is urging young drivers to choose the latest model possible when buying their first car.
The advice from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) follows recent research, which found that almost half of men under 20 involved in serious accidents were driving cars over ten years old.
The study underscores for younger drivers the threat they face from older cars, which offer less crash protection and fewer safety features.
The IAM is now offering new drivers and their parents advice on the top considerations when choosing a first car.
The charity has advised new drivers to ensure that the NCAP rating is higher than three, even on older models, and that the vehicle falls in an insurance group of three or under, giving a wide choice of small cars.
First-car buyers should also verify if the manufacture warranty lasts for five or even seven years, and to check the levels of initial depreciation and mileage on the cars.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research, IAM, said: "Parents should help their child choose the best car they can get for their money. A new car won't be an option for everybody but there are plenty of used cars that will be almost as good - you do need to do some thorough research though."
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