Before we begin, if you are reading this you have probably just passed your driving test. If so, congratulations. You are about to experience a type of freedom that you have never had before. However, those compliments come with a word of warning, too. Owning and running a car can be incredibly expensive – especially for new drivers.
With this in mind, we thought we would go through a few ingenious ways of cutting some costs. The chances are that you are young and haven’t maximized your income yet, so it all helps, right? Plus, with the cost of driving lessons and passing your test at enormous levels, there’s an excellent chance you have little money left. OK, let’s get cracking and take a look at how to save money on your first car.
One of the biggest costs buying a new car is completely invisible when you hand over your money. Fuel and maintenance have to be considered when you are buying a new car, although many people fail to do so.
Look for a reliable vehicle with a recognized safety record. You don’t want a car that has a history of problems. Also, research fuel consumption. Fuel costs soon add up – particularly if you live in a remote area. Ideally, you should be looking at a vehicle that runs a minimum of 60 miles per gallon. Although this might mean you out miss out on buying a speed demon, your bank account will appreciate the gesture.
First of all, there is no point buying a brand new car. Statistics suggest there is an excellent chance you will have an accident in the two years following your driving test success. Passing your test is only the first step in becoming a safe driver, and it will take a few years of experience before you can be assured of your skills. You don’t want a situation where you buy a brand new vehicle and have nothing to show for it other than a small fee for scrap metal.
Also, buying new makes no financial sense anyway. You lose a lot of value the second you drive it home, and won’t get as much when it comes to selling it on. Your best bet is to find a reputable used car dealership – ask friends and family for their recommendations. Bear in mind that many dealers will mark you out as inexperienced, so when you buy, it’s a good idea to take someone with you who has more experience. They will be able to run through some of the vital checks you need to make.
Once you have bought your first car, you will need insurance. Unfortunately, insurers see all new drivers as a risky bet, and they will charge you through the nose for your first couple of years. You have to prove yourself to be a safe driver, as most accidents are caused by inexperienced and young drivers. There isn’t much you can do about this at first – other than to buy the safest car you possibly can. Go for a smaller engine and a vehicle that has a good safety record.
There is another alternative, though. You can get a telematics black box installed which will track your driving skills. Over time, this might reduce your insurance premiums a lot quicker. Many insurance companies will offer these as part of your plan, and they can be a great way of proving yourself as a safe driver.
Jul 16, 2013 1
Oct 25, 2013 1