The 'car' that 16-year-olds can drive (so long as they don't mind a top speed of just 28mph)

  • Average insurance for 16-year-old on Aixam Coupe S will be £2,200/year
  • Two-seater vehicle has Kubota 400cc diesel engine and 28mph top speed
  • Had to have certain weight and power output to qualify as a quadricycle
  • Retail price of £9,999 is higher than UK's most popular car, Ford Fiesta

By Mark Duell

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If you're a teenager who really can’t wait until you hit the age of 17 to start driving, this could be just the ticket - but let's just hope your parents have got deep pockets.

The Aixam Coupe S looks like a compact city car but is in fact a ‘light quadricycle’ which can be driven with a moped licence from the age of 16 - and it comes with a hefty price tag of £9,999.

The insurance on the two-seater vehicle will also cost the average 16-year-old £2,200 per year, based on an average mileage of 5,000 miles and no accidents or convictions.

Young drivers: The Aixam Coupe S looks like a compact city car but is in fact as a 'light quadricycle' which can be driven with a moped licence from the age of 16 - and it comes with a hefty price tag of £9,999

Young drivers: The Aixam Coupe S looks like a compact city car but is in fact as a 'light quadricycle' which can be driven with a moped licence from the age of 16 - and it comes with a hefty price tag of £9,999

High price: The insurance on the two-seater vehicle will cost the average 16-year-old £2,200 per year, based on an average mileage of 5,000 miles and no accidents or convictions

High price: The insurance on the two-seater vehicle will cost the average 16-year-old £2,200 per year, based on an average mileage of 5,000 miles and no accidents or convictions

The vehicle, which is powered by a Kubota 400cc diesel engine and comes with 12 months of free road tax, has alloy wheels and many typical features found in a car - including a CD player.

To qualify as a quadricycle, the vehicle, which has two white stripes on the bonnet, had to weigh less than 350kg and have a power output not exceeding 4kw - with a maximum speed of 30mph.

 

Engineers fitted the Coupe S, which has a top speed of 28mph, with a diesel engine that is capable of 79.4 miles per gallon while emitting 77 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide.

The vehicle, which is being billed as a safer alternative to a moped, will be launched in the UK at the Motorcycle Live event from November 24 at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Remarkable: The vehicle, which is powered by a Kubota 400cc diesel engine and comes with 12 months free road tax, has alloy wheels and many typical features found in a car - including a CD player

Remarkable: The vehicle, which is powered by a Kubota 400cc diesel engine and comes with 12 months free road tax, has alloy wheels and many typical features found in a car - including a CD player

Tight space: Engineers fitted the Coupe S, which has a top speed of 28mph, with a diesel engine which is capable of 79.4 miles per gallon while emitting 77 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide

Tight space: Engineers fitted the Coupe S, which has a top speed of 28mph, with a diesel engine which is capable of 79.4 miles per gallon while emitting 77 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide

Aixam, a French manufacturer based in Aix-les-Bains, Savoie, plans to sell the vehicle at motorcycle dealerships in the UK after it was launched at the Paris Motor Show in September and October.

IN PROFILE: THE AIXAM COUPE S

  • Manufacturer: Aixam (France)
  • Price: £9,999
  • Seats: Two
  • Average insurance: £2,200/year (16)
  • Engine: Kubota 400cc diesel (79.4mpg)
  • Top speed: 28mph
  • Features: CD player

Justin Bond, Aixam’s UK manager, said: ‘We believe that the young rider market for scooters and mopeds has been contracting lately due to the difficulty in convincing parents of the safety issues surrounding mopeds and scooters. This will offer a safer method of transport to this demographic.’

A spokesman for specialist insurance broker Bikesure gave the average figure of £2,200 for 16-year-olds to insure the car, which he said was ‘in the same ballpark to a 17-year-old driving a small standard car’.

But the vehicle is even more expensive than the 2013 version of the UK's most popular car, the Ford Fiesta, which is coming to the market at £9,795.

 

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

i think i can cope with waiting one more year...

Click to rate     Rating   59

They are a really bad idea! Ban them now!

Click to rate     Rating   39

Oh great; more congestion on our already chock a bloc roads, can you imagine being stuck behind one of them for mile after mile and it is no use thinking you can overtake them because traffic coming the other way will be doing the same and what sort of licence will be needed by 16 year olds to drive them? Oh and what is a quadricycle, there is no mention of it on the licence application form?

Click to rate     Rating   35

Oh great; more congestion on our already chock a bloc roads, can you imagine being stuck behind one of them for mile after mile and it is no use thinking you can overtake them because traffic coming the other way will be doing the same and what sort of licence will be needed by 16 year olds to drive them?

Click to rate     Rating   5

Yes, but a knackered old Fiesta costs £500... and does more than 30mph. It's the Sinclair C5 all over again!

Click to rate     Rating   40

What nonsense. This is not a car. Y would anyone pay £10,000 - 11,000 for a car and then spend another 2-4k on insuring it for their children to drive. Wait til they're 17 and have passed their test and buy a cheap 1.0ltr car for them to run around in. All told this will probably cost you in the region of 2-5k including insurance, and maybe some breakdown cover just in case. U can pick up a really decent Nissan Micra or a Toyota Yaris for reasonable money, they're fantastic on fuel too. Don't know about the Nissan but the yaris deisel costs around 30 squid a year to tax and you can get upto 250miles on 20-25squid of juice. Makes sense don't it.

Click to rate     Rating   20

It has two seats........... Do you not need to pass a full motorbike test before you can carry passengers on your "moped"................?

Click to rate     Rating   42

This vehicle is Dangerous, I am a Driving Instructor and I know that travelling at this speed is mad as many drivers will be frustrated following behind, they may just overtake it at the wrong time and cause an accident, absolutely mad.

Click to rate     Rating   89

Just one small problem: not in the UK! The 16 rule is for other EU countries. Here we still require either a full car or a full Motorcycle licence for what is classed as a Quad. Most of these micro-cars seen here have bigger engines and normal small-car performance. They are just very light cars made with a welded alloy frame and lightweight body panels. They all offer very good MPG as a result and are equally green but the government weasel-worded its way out of giving them realistic emissions-based V.E.D. ever since Gordon Brown announced the system (that later turned out to apply to only about 25% of green vehicles)

Click to rate     Rating   15

and ............ it's French!

Click to rate     Rating   24

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