For the vast majority of us, passing the driving test represents a huge milestone in terms of accomplishment and independence.
Passing the test and receiving their shiny new driving licence is of course the most important ‘gift’ they’ll receive, so most people tend to give a small gesture of congratulations.
What you buy depends on how much you wish to spend and what you would like your gift to signify; safety, practicality or fun. With this in mind, let’s take a look at 10 top gift ideas for new drivers that have just passed the driving test.
1. Car Safety Pack
There’s not much fun to be had with a car safety pack and furthermore, it’s something that’ll hopefully not be used. If you’re buying for a loved one and bearing in mind that they are a new and inexperienced driver, a car safety pack makes for an ideal gift. These packs vary in price and will generally start from around £20 upwards. Pack contents include general safety / first aid, or can include specifics for winter or European driving. Pack contents will generally include, but not limited to:
- Warning triangle
- Fire extinguisher
- High visibility vest for roadside safety
- Ice scraper
- Foil blanket
- Trauma dressing
- First aid guidance leaflet
- Burn dressings
- Adhesive plasters
2. Breakdown Cover
Still with the safety theme, breakdown cover doesn’t make for the most exciting gift for a new driver, but it is potentially a huge relief if something goes wrong. This may be of particular benefit as individuals that have just passed the driving test often tend to drive older cars. Annual premiums start from around £25 for basic cover. Check the small print to ensure the age of vehicle that the policy covers – some policies do not cover vehicles over a certain age. Check also how you are covered in the event that the recovery driver is unable to fix the vehicle.
3. Advanced Driving Course
Continuing with the safety theme, an advanced driving course such as Pass Plus is a short 6 hour course that covers particular driving situations that were likely not covered by standard driving lessons. Typically this will include driving at night, motorway driving and all-weather driving. Most driving instructors offer the course and there’s no exam at the end. Prices vary depending on the instructor / company.
Benefits include greater driving skills and potentially a discount off of your insurance policy with participating providers. Other advanced driving courses are available such as IAM. To many, an advanced driving course isn’t likely to be the most exciting gift, but with ever increasing traffic on our roads, driving experience is crucial. Courses range from £120 – £150 and can be purchased as gift vouchers.
4. Bluetooth Handsfree Kit
Using a mobile phone whilst driving is of course dangerous and will result in penalty points on a licence along with a fine. A headset easily connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth, is lightweight and enables the user to make and receive calls without touching their smartphone. Bluetooth handsfree kits are an exciting and practical gift for new drivers and can be purchased for as little as £10.
5. Parking Sensors
Car parking spaces seem to be shrinking as time goes by. Or is it that cars are getting bigger? Probably the latter! If you have an older, less tech-heavy car, the chances are you wont have any form of parking aid. New drivers, or even some experienced drivers find it difficult to judge distances when parking. Parking sensor kits are a safety feature and can be purchased for as little as £10, but will require a little DIY to get them fitted to your vehicle.
6. Satellite Navigation System
Driving in an unfamiliar area can be stressful, especially for an inexperienced driver. A satellite navigation system, or ‘sat-nav’ moves us into the ‘practical’ gift for those that have passed the driving test and can be a very cheap device to purchase these days. Almost all modern cars come equipped with built-in sat-navs, resulting in dedicated devices becoming cheaper.
You can pick a basic model up for around £50 or a used device for less. Better still, most modern mobile phones have free navigation software that can be downloaded onto a device, meaning that all you’ll need to purchase is a car mobile phone holder.
7. New Driver Survival Gift Kit
This kit isn’t anything serious, it’s a novelty gift pack that puts a smile on anyone’s face who’s just passed their driving test. The inexpensive gift pack contained items with sentimental meanings, along with a card listing the names of the items and their meanings.
A keyring is a practical and fun gift for a new driver. Keyrings are often cheap and can come in many forms from photo frames, micro torch, car logos, USB sticks, pendants, humorous photos / words and much more.
9. Car Decals
From rear window car stickers to humorous images that can be stuck on the car itself. Though inexpensive, it’s a bit of a risky gift to get someone unless you happen to know for sure that they like that kind of thing.
10. Personalised Gifts
Personalised photos, cards, mugs, pens – you name it, most gifts can be made personal these days. A gift not necessarily related to cars or the driving test, but with a personal message is a gift well received, and quite inexpensive too.
Or perhaps you could opt for a gift voucher to spend in a car accessory shop, made out with a personal message.