When it comes time to learn to drive, the car you choose can make a huge impact on your success. While learning to drive, mastering the rules of the road and learning safe driving habits are important, but you can’t learn to be a great driver without also picking up a comfortable ability to judge clearances and distances when doing routine things like merging and parking. All of these skills can be picked up more smoothly and quickly when learned on a car that is most suitable for a beginning driver.
Choosing a Proper Size
When new to driving, it is common to overestimate where your car sits on the road, and how much clearance you have in comparison to other cars and things like lane dividers. Choosing a large car such as an SUV can make it more difficult to learn these subtle skills, and the excessive weight of larger cars can also lead to delayed responses to braking and steering inputs. Choosing a medium or smaller sized car can make for a more nimble platform to learn on that can not only make acclimating to traffic easier, but also teach proactive driving techniques that can help avoid accidents.
Learning to drive a car can sometimes make you feel like you’re at the mercy of the car itself. Like it has a mind of its own and you’re just along for the ride. Starting off in a car with a large amount of low rpm torque and power can make this sensation even more intimidating. It is often better to work with a less powerful car, as smaller mistakes are easier to catch and correct, and the driver can concentrate on learning to drive rather than keeping a ferocious amount of power at bay.
Choosing a Drive Train
When learning to drive, stability and sure footedness are some of the best traits to look for in a car. To this end, front wheel drive and all wheel drive cars are the best choices, as they tend to be far easier to control in harsh weather such as snow or rain. Where a rear wheel drive car may be prone to spinning in heavy rain or snow when driven by an inexperienced driver, a front or all wheel drive car will tend to under steer. This means that the effect of driver inputs is reduced rather than magnified, so mistakes and panicked reactions are less likely to upset the car to the point of being unrecoverable.
Looking at the above information, cars such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus and Subaru Impreza 2.5RS are excellent choices for a beginning driver. They have adequate but not overwhelming power, and all have well composed and forgiving chassis and suspension designs, and responsive controls. Best of all, all of them are popular cars that sell in large numbers. Meaning both reasonable used prices, and reasonable repair costs. All of these cars come with excellent reliability and sound design, meaning you can concentrate on learning proper driving habits rather than worry about things going wrong.