At the time of writing, Llyods TSB was giving out loans at the rate I mentioned. Actually if you go to MoneySuperMarket, you will see that you can get loans below the rate stated above, even if the money being borrowed is less than £7500. I know loans are given out subject to status but hey, young marmalade works the same way as well - you may need to have your parents as a guarantor if you're not eligible for credit, right?
Your next point was Hayley sharing with her boyfriend - from what i understood, it was the car finance and not the insurance.
Even though Hayley said she wanted a newer car, I recommended one which was one year older because she would make more savings than the one I was comparing to on your website. If a new driver told me she was getting a sports car as soon as she passes her test, I would tell her to wait and get a car with a smaller engine first rather than encouraging her to get what she wanted in the first place. Sometimes you need to show people the different choices they have and what consequences each of these choices have so that they can make a much more informed decision on what they really want.
Not all older cars are bangers as you put it though. Of course before purchasing a car she will have to look at the vehicle history and consider everything else that comes with it but that's what everybody has to do to save money and not just get the first thing they see advertised and believe this is the best deal ever wihout researching other options!
I'm glad that your scheme was a success Nigel and I honestly believe it is a really good scheme as well. However in this particular instance, I felt Hayley would be better off going to a bank. Statistics show that female drivers are less likely to be involved in accidents anyway - so we need to know how many female drivers were worst off without your scheme rather than looking at both genders together to get a more accurate picture.
I am connected with Young Marmalade and would like to challenge some of the points being made.
It is impossible to get 7.9% on a personal loan of £4,000 - that rate is for loans over £7,500 and it is still subject to status.
Next, Hayley talks of sharing with her boyfriend, not sure whether that is the car or the finance but if it is the car, his insurance rating needs to be taken into account to provide a fair comparison. Under the Young Marmalade scheme there may be a significant saving with any insurance he needs, which could have an impact on the overall picture.
Finally, Hayley said she wanted a car under 3 years old, why suggest she has a car with no manufacturer's warranties, unknown history, is at an age where the car is subject to MOT and possible repairs, has a lower NCAP safety rating than the car you suggest from the Young Marmalade scheme.
Young Marmalade has been put together as a package to provide young drivers with safer cars than the old bangers many are forced to drive due to high insurance premiums.
We ran a parallel trial over 12 months between those on the Young Marmalade scheme and a control group of young drivers insuring any car - the control group crashed over two and a half times more than the Young Marmalade drivers. Young drivers may save a few pounds buying an older car but at what cost?
I would suggest that you look for a car from a dealer to get the best deals. A Fiat Punto is the cheapest car that you can insure as a young driver and you can get a decent one from your local dealer for around £4000 (2004 reg). You will get a loan from Llyods TSB at an APR of 7.9% while Young Marmalade charges you 11.4% instead. You will therefore save more money because first you will be borrowing less money (£4000 instead of £6500 on average for a Grande Fiat Punto 2006 reg on Marmalade's site) and second benefit from a lower interest rate.
Although the insurance is cheaper with Young Marmalade, you will end up paying more in the long term. Unfortunately, you cannot just get the insurance with them as it has to be combined with a car purchase. Note that because you are a lady driver, you will pay less in insurance than a male driver and I believe you will get very competitive insurance quotes as well as saving a lot of money should you decide to go down the route I'm suggesting.
If you need further assistance, please let me know.