They are full of anticipation when they pass their driving tests. The first thing they want to do is go out and buy a car! With the limited savings they have, there’s no way they can afford to pay the ridiculous insurance premiums asked of them.
Quite often, that means young drivers can't afford to drive and insure anything newer than ten years old. Or with an engine bigger than a 1.2-litre 8-valve lump. It’s a depressing thought, don’t you think?
It’s been some years since I was a) young and b) a new driver on the road. As I write this article, the nightmares I’ve had trying to insure anything half-decent in my salad days are now coming back to haunt me!
But it seems for youngsters passing their tests in 2015, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Italian car manufacturer Fiat have come up with a novel way to get new drivers on the road in NEW cars! The Fiat 500 pictured above is a big clue to what they are proposing.
Fiat’s fantastic new deal is something they dub the “Fiat 500 i-Deal.” Now, just what is this i-Deal all about? Keep reading to find out!
The Fiat 500: i-Deal or no deal?
In the UK, Fiat have teamed up with a couple of companies to give new and young drivers the chance to get behind the wheel of a brand new Fiat 500 car. The firms they are working with are Carrot, an insurance brand underwritten by Zurich Insurance. And then there’s Trak Global, a telematics provider.
Let’s say that you’re a youngster that’s just passed their driving test. Would you love to get in the driving seat of a Fiat 500 like one you might have seen at the Pentagon Group? The good news is you won’t have to wait until you are 25 years old to do so!
Here’s how the Fiat 500 i-Deal works
There are a few requirements if you wish to be eligible for the Fiat 500 i-Deal. You have to be at least 18 years old. It’s illegal to lend anyone money in the UK if they are younger than that.
You also need to pay a deposit as with most new cars you buy today. The deposit you need to come up with is £1,475. To be honest, that’s not a big deposit to pay for a brand new car these days. Most people expect to pay a few grand more for their new vehicles.
Of course, as you are, in essence, taking a car out on finance, you have to pay some money for your new Fiat 500 each month. The amount you pay is £239 per month. Even if you’ve got a part-time job, this is still affordable.
So, what do you get for £239 a month?
Quite a lot, as it turns out! You might be reading this and thinking to yourself that is an enormous amount to fork out for an 18-year-old. But wait! That monthly figure doesn’t just cover the cost of the car finance!
For £239 a month, you also get comprehensive insurance cover provided by Carrot. The cover is for the duration of the finance term - three years. Another feature that you get as part of that money is maintenance.
The Fiat 500 i-Deal also comes with an “Easy Care Servicing Maintenance” package. So, let’s just sum this all up:
•You pay a deposit of £1,475;
•You pay £239 a month for three years;
•You get comprehensive insurance cover;
•You get servicing and maintenance included too.
As a driver under 25, you would pay more than double that price each month if you got the car and paid for everything else separately.
Fiat says this is a good deal for new, younger drivers that want to get on the road. And I agree with them. Why? Because you would be hard stretched to find a deal like that on a brand new car that’s cheaper!
The car you get is the Fiat 500 Pop. It has many of the tech features you would expect from a modern car such as radio and CD player with MP3 capabilities. It has remote central locking. And, from a safety point of view, it also features seven airbags.
If you want a car that helps you become an eco-friendly motorist, the Fiat 500 Pop is for you. The Start Stop technology it comes with ensures your carbon emissions are as low as possible. And the engine itself is eco-friendly; it’s a 1.2-litre, 69 brake horsepower unit.
Like the exterior, the interior of the Fiat 500 Pop is stylish and on trend for today’s young motorists. The seats are comfortable, and the cabin is surprisingly roomy!
If you’d prefer not to drive a manual, the Fiat 500 Pop is also available with a “Dualogic” semi-automatic gearbox. Of course, if you’ve passed in a manual car, you might find it odd driving an auto. Still, the option is there if you want it.
Are there any caveats to the Fiat 500 i-Deal?
There are a few things that you need to be aware of before heading down to your local Fiat dealer. First, the only model available under this deal is the Pop. If you wanted to get a Cult, Colour Therapy, Lounge or the sporty “S” model, you’d have to arrange everything yourself.
Advocates of privacy might not like the fact the car has a telematics box that snoops on your driving habits. It’s a popular way to incentive young drivers, as it rewards them for “good” driving behaviour. But it also means that Big Brother is watching your every move on the road!
The last thing to remember is that you can only get this deal on a new model. If you want to save cash by getting a used Fiat 500 Pop, you’re out of luck.