Buying a car vs borrowing a car

After passing your test, it's difficult to know what to do next. We're weighing up the options between buying and borrowing a car.


Chloe Profile Picture

By Chloe Martell

Updated on Dec 7th, 2020

After passing your test, the next step you’ll probably be thinking about is buying a car – but is this the right time for you to do that? We’re looking at things to consider after passing your test. You may want to rush into buying your own set of wheels, but is it the best way to go?

How much money do you have?

It goes without saying that buying a car, costs money. Whether you’re looking at getting a brand new one on finance, or a second hand one, it doesn’t come cheap! After passing your test, work out how much money you have for a car, and what fits within your price range. You also need to determine if you can afford monthly repayments if you go down the financing route.

If you’re looking at your bank balance and you’ve realised there’s little chance you can buy your own car right now, there is an alternative… borrow a car! Or more specifically, borrow your parent’s car. Marmalade’s Named Young Driver Insurance was designed to help new drivers at this awkward stage of your driving journey – when you’ve passed your test and want all the freedom, but don’t have the money for your own set of wheels just yet.

How much will you be driving?

After passing your test, it’s good to try and work out how much you’ll need to use a car. If it’s for a long daily commute, or if you’re working awkward hours, then getting a car of your own and having an annual insurance policy in your name may be the best option, as you’ll have full flexibility to use it as and when it needed – this is where our Black Box Insurance is a great option!

If you won’t need to use the car much or need to use it for short periods each day, then looking to share your parent’s car can be a great option. After all, there’s little point in buying and running a car full time if you’re not going to get the most out of it.

How much will the insurance cost?

Insurance prices for young and newly qualified drivers can be high – this is because statistically, they’re more likely to have an accident. If you’re thinking about buying a car, it’s something you need to look into before you do. Do your research and see which cars are cheaper for young drivers to insure – before you fork out for your dream car!

If you’ve done this, and you think there’s no way you’ll be able to afford it, paying for insurance when you borrow a car can work out better financially if you don’t need to be the main driver. Our Named Young Driver Insurance that enables you to borrow a car can do more than just save you money in year one of your driving life. Because it’s an annual policy on your parent’s car, it means you’ll start to earn your own No Claims Bonus and a cheeky loyalty discount*, which can take a chunk off the price when it comes to you insuring your own car in the future.

Let’s sum up the options…

You’re not going to be the main driver, and can’t afford a car just yet

We’ve already mentioned our Named Young Driver Insurance, which is ideal if you’re living at home with your parents. If you’re living away from home and only need insurance occasionally on a car you borrow – our short-term Student Car Insurance provides comprehensive cover on a car you borrow for 1 to 4 weeks. As a bonus, if you buy either of these policies from Marmalade, you’ll get an additional 5% discount* on our Black Box insurance policy when you get your own set of wheels.

You’re going to be using the car regularly, and can afford to run a car

If you own the car and you’re going to be driving it most, you need to be the main driver on the policy. Putting a parent on your policy can make your premium cheaper, but they need to be added as a named driver (with you as the main driver). If you put a parent as the main driver of the car, when you are the main driver, this is classed as “fronting” (a form of fraud), which could invalidate the insurance – and affect your chance of getting insurance in the future (it’s is not worth the risk!).

Whichever route you decide to go down, take some time and consider your options. It’s worth knowing that there are lots of different ways to get behind the wheel and you don’t have to jump into buying your own car straight away.

Get set for the open road!

Get flexible and affordable car insurance cover on a parent's car
Find out how our Named Young Driver Insurance can help you get behind the wheel, without buying your own car!
semi-circlesemi-circle
Chloe Profile Picture

By Chloe Martell

As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!


Related Blogs


How much will my first car cost?

Here is a list of costs to consider before buying your first car!

Car finance and how it works

Car finance can seem overwhelming. We’ve put together this guide to show you the different options, and how to stick to your budget when buying a car on finance

Win a Brand New Car!

Sign up to our newsletter for a chance to win a brand new car!

Visit the Driver Hub

Check out the latest stories and blogs from young drivers

Become a Marmalade blogger!

Get involved, share your stories and earn shopping vouchers