You’ve just passed your driving exam as a young adult – congratulations! Your freedom is now wider than it was before you passed. Now, the real fun begins. Choosing a car, getting it roadworthy and driving those first tentative miles outside of your hometown by yourself are experiences that you’ll never forget.
If you’ve worked to fund the first car journey yourself, or are relying on financial help from a parent, relative or friend, it might be tempting to try and cut costs to get you on the road with a minimum of financial investment. This would be a grave mistake. It’s important to pay a little over the odds to get some of the better cars and coverage available to you, to give you both peace of mind if you break down, and to reduce the times you’ll break down at the side of the highway to a preferable ‘zero.’
But what should you spend on, and what can you afford to cut costs with? This handy list will allow you the new driver to get a good, solid understanding of the financial responsibilities they should carry out if they can.
Can Spare Expense (Wisely)
Most people want to know how they can save money first so that they can then understand their budgetary prioritization for the purchases or subscriptions they genuinely should pay well for.
You needn’t stretch your budget to a BMW or Mercedes for your first car if that’s just not financially feasible. You can purchase cars second or even third hand and have them last for a good while, and reasonably consistently. It’s important to research well into the specific model you’re buying. Visit owners clubs online, and read forums to find out the faults with the vehicle or what the fuel consumption is like.
It’s safer to purchase from a car dealership than it is through backpage or newspaper listings, but whatever works for you is fine. You’ll be more likely to get a better deal with an independent seller, but a dealership will help you with better purchasing safety.
While it might be tempting to purchase a GPS system, a speaker system, and a flame decal paint job, you can do without all of these things in your first car. There’s no shame in forgoing the upfront costs to get you mobile for the time being.
Spare No Expense
You should always research deeply into the car models you buy and should read the car manual inside out. It’s your responsibility to be a good driver. This doesn’t even take financial resources, but mental resources. Apply those wholeheartedly and you’re sure to have a great financial experience.
While it might be tempting to go with the cheapest insurance deal you can, these are often lacking in adequate coverage. Going for a premium insurance package like AAA will also entitle you to many important benefits, such as being covered in the United States if you’re an international member. Click to learn more. With a great insurance package, you will also have access to the best roadside callouts if the worst happens and you break down in an awkward spot.
Repairs must never be forgone. If your car fails its safety check, you must do everything you can to get it roadworthy in a prompt timeframe. You’re more than in your rights to get a second opinion if you feel the garage has quoted you too highly, but you are not within your rights to drive an unroadworthy vehicle just because you’re not happy with the cost of repair.
Sometimes, the best things in life aren’t free. Make sure you pay your driving career the respect it’s due, and apply your financial priorities accordingly.