cars for kids, old cars, used cars, road safety

Cars For Kids

Or Kars4Kids as one particular organisation in America chooses to be known. They do like to be down with the young people. Kars4Kids gets folk to donate their old cars which are then renovated and sold on as legal motors.

It’s a very good idea that’s slightly tainted by the fact that the resulting proceeds help needy children of just one specific grouping. Not all donors are aware of this. It does however suggest that we could well do with something of this ilk in the UK but in a manner that is more inclusive.

Not As Naive As It Sounds

There are plenty of children in families that could do with some support. There are also plenty of old cars knocking about which, although probably past their best, could still do someone a favour.

Re-using aged motors is a good idea. In the fantasy world of government they would have us all driving around in sparkling new ultra-low calorie, politically correct, non-denominational vehicles that neither offend or pollute. In the real world however there’s a huge number of low-paid working or student folk who would welcome an inexpensive low cost car. Hence ‘cars for kids’.

Renew And Reuse

We use old cars for training in colleges and the like already, but where’s the harm in taking this a stage further? Why not let the under sixteen school crowd get their hands on some wheels. Not all kids are academic and the idea of learning trades and manual skills by doing would appeal. If you can repair or rebuild a car engine you’ll likely be able to repair or rebuild any engine.

For most of us the mysteries of a car loom will forever remain just that. A mystery. Learning automotive electrical wiring develops electrical skills that have many other applications. The list of transferable skills that could be developed from the rebuilding of a car – the advances of automotive autonomy and alternative fuels notwithstanding – are many, plus, at the end, there’s a usable, legal car that could soldier on for another year. Those donated vehicles that come out of the scheme in a roadworthy and tested condition can then be sold on. America does it; why shouldn’t we?

Road Safety Benefits

There’s nothing wrong with putting a supervised child behind the wheel of a car in a secure environment. The AA offer underage driving courses but they don’t start early enough. Children learn good practice quickly. Giving a kid an idea of the dangers and pitfalls of car ownership at an early age will inform their future driving ability. If they also know how it works then so much the better.

As it is, many new young drivers have no sense whatsoever of what awaits them on the roads of Britain. It is made worse by the fact that they often find out the hard way and often in a dodgy old motor bought cheap off some shady lot. It’s a well known and appalling fact that this is the age group most likely to die at the wheel.

P Is For Life

Would it not be better that, on that happy test day when the world opens up to them, they are already up to speed on the state of our roads and the dangers that lurk out there. Wouldn’t it be good if they knew that the ‘cars for kids’ budget motor they are sitting in, embellished by a probationary P, has been thoroughly overhauled and tested by people with a vested interest in doing a good job?

As mentioned, there are schemes like this already. It’s not a new idea but it could be bigger and it could be better. Kars4Kids may be about renovating and selling old cars for charitable purposes but I’m sure there’s a cars for kids case for taking it further. Geoff Maxted