The purchase of your first car is such an exciting time. The stress of driving lessons and tests is behind you and you are ready to hit the open road. With your own car, you no longer have to rely on your Mom and Dad and you don’t need to ask if you can go out for a spin. Now you are independent and can go wherever you want whenever you want!
Owning your own car comes with some responsibilities and the first one is selecting the right car for your needs and budget. As a teen, there are lots of financial lessons that you must learn and budgeting for a car is one of them. Here are some essential tips for buying your first ever car.
Choosing the right car
Start by selecting the right size car for you. If you will be in the car by yourself most of the time and may give a friend a lift on occasions you only need a small car. If you have a hobby such as cycling or surfing and you need to carry a lot of gear around with you then you need a much bigger one.
Then think about how many miles you are going to clock up. If you commute a long way to work every day, buying a high mileage car is a big mistake. You will push the mileage up even further and it will soon start to show signs of wear and tear. It may be worth investing in a cheaper model with fewer miles on the clock.
A sports car or a soft top may seem like a cool choice but are they practical for your needs? Think about where you will park it overnight and whether it will be secure. Also, think about the fuel consumption as this can end up costing more than you think.
Additional costs when buying a car
Obviously, you need to find the purchase price of the car and you can fund this from savings, a loan or even a gift from your family if you are very lucky. Then you need to get the right amount of car insurance coverage and this is not an area that should cut back on. Adequate car insurance is vital for all drivers. There may be taxes and permits that you also need to pay.
Cars can cost a lot of money to keep them on the road. There will be on-going insurance, tax, and maintenance costs that you will have to pay the cost of weekly fuel as well. You may be able to offset this by sharing journeys and pooling the travel costs with friends or colleagues.
Simple car maintenance tips
No-one expects you to go to night school to gain a qualification in car mechanics but you need to know the basics. As well as being able to fill the car with fuel, you must be able to check the oil and water levels and fill up the screen washer. Check the tire pressures every few weeks.