Like any skill in life, you get better by practicing, starting from the bottom and advancing through the ranks. If you really want to learn how to drive, I would suggest you start your driving career in a bad car. Yes that’s what I said! Not an unsafe or dangerous car, just a slow, dull and terrible to drive car. It may sound mad but here me out on this one. Lets get started!

Cheap cars are better suited for everyday torture

When you are a beginner driver it is totally normal to make dozens of mistakes behind the wheel on daily basis. Course it is, you’re new! You’re expected to scratch the car, hit the curb, and possibly have a small fender-bender or two. If you have a brand new car, damaging it will upset you and make driving more stressful, exactly what you want to avoid.

Having a cheap and ordinary car will liberate you from the stress of expensive repairs and give you the confidence to drive as much as you want. If you get a ding on your door, no problem. A curbed steel wheel, well that’s only $20 to replace! You can park anywhere, drive over rough ground and not have a care in the world.


Bad cars are easily affordable for one reason, no one else wants them! This makes it perfect for a new driver as you wont need a loan or have to ask your parents for help in buying one. Getting one will not cost much so you can concentrate on other things in your life. Also, having a cheap and slow car means that it can be insured for far less money than a brand new one which is good to know if you’ve just got your driver`s license.

Also, slow economy cars are usually inexpensive to maintain which is very important. Practically every spare part or component costs significantly less than a newer model and you can even install some used parts from eBay since it doesn’t really matter. You’re not obliged to use OEM parts or components since the factory warranty is a distant memory!

Bad cars are more fun to drive

When you are a beginner driver, all you want to do is to rack up as many miles as you can. For most young drivers, driving is a great pleasure and gives the sense of freedom they didn’t experience before. That is why owning a bad car is more fun. Heres why. Firstly, when you have a cheap and bad car you don’t care about the damage your friends might do to it when you go on a road trip. You don’t care if it gets dirty or if you park it in a bad neighborhood. All you care about is blasting your favorite tunes and having a good time.

Secondly, driving a bad car actually makes you a better driver. Although it might sound contradictory, newer cars do everything for you, helping you brake, keep a safe distance, help you corner better with ESP and so on. In a bad car, you need to do all those things by yourself which makes you much more aware of the realities of driving. It is easy to move up to better vehicles once you have learned to drive properly but nothing can replace the learning experience you get in a bad car early in your driving career.

Tuning and modifying

If you are a keen car tuner, there is no better starting point than a beater car. Turning a bad car into a good one by modifying it is a great challenge, perfect for young enthusiasts. Tuning parts for cheap and slightly outdated vehicles are relatively inexpensive and perfect for car lovers on a budget. Most everyday cars have loads of aftermarket components for sale and you don’t have to be rich in order to transform your cheap ride into something pretty respectable.

On the other hand, if the things don’t go as planned, you won’t be making expensive mistakes as you would in a new car. In fact, you cant even modify a new vehicle since it will be far more expensive and complicated and you could lose the factory warranty. Get a clunker and make some mistakes. It will help you learn much faster!

Learning to appreciate

Owning a bad car early in your driving career is great as it will teach you to appreciate a wider variety of cars. Its easy to start driving in a high priced sports car or luxury SUV but the question is where do you go from there? When your first car is a beaten-up old economy hatchback or sedan, you will understand just what it means to break down, repair, and maintain the vehicle. You will reach the limitations of the car far easier, at slower speeds and become much more aware of car control.

When you start your driving career in an upscale and brand new car, most of the time you feel disconnected from the road conditions, outside world, and you are covered by a factory warranty and service plan if something goes wrong. In a bad car, you are much more exposed to the outside elements and you have to act accordingly which is very important in becoming a safe and responsible driver.

So there you are. Did you buy a cheap first car? If so what was it? Let me know in the comments.