7 Things To Ask Yourself Before Buying Your First Car
Learning to drive is a bit of a rite of passage. It’s something that many of us, as kids, assume that we will do as soon as we are old enough. But, in reality, it often turns out a little different. Unless someone else is funding your lessons, most of us at 17 have better things to spend our money on.
If we still live at home, we rarely need to drive, and most of us hate the idea of becoming the designated driver among our friendships group, preferring to enjoy ourselves as much as we can without the responsibility. Due to the increased costs of driving lessons and tests, many of us don’t learn to drive until we are a little older, and have more disposable income.
Whenever you learn to drive, it’s just the first step. Even when you can drive, you have to ask yourself if you really want to or need to. If you don’t have a long commute or have been living quite well with public transport, you might wonder if you really want a car at all, and many of us have at least a short break between passing our tests and getting on to the road.
This break can make the idea of buying your first car a little bit daunting. So, here are some of the things that you should ask yourself first.
Do You Need A Car?
The first thing to ask yourself is if you need a car, and how much you’d use it if you did have one. Do you currently walk to work? Can you walk the kids to school?
If you had a car, it would still be wise both for your health and the planet to walk shorter distances, so how much would you actually use your vehicle?
Would it make a significant difference to your life? Or would you just use it every now and then? Do you need it? Is it worth it?
What’s Your Budget?
Your budget is going to be a top consideration when deciding both if you are ready for a car, and which car you can buy. You might want to explore financing options from Choose My Car, as well as looking at second-hand vehicles and other options.
But, however you are going to be paying for your car, you need to keep your budget in mind when you start shopping. When budgeting, think about how much you are currently spending on transport.
Should You Buy A Used or New Car?
You might now have decided that you do need a car, or at least that it would improve your life significantly. You may also have decided on a budget, so the next question is, should you buy a new or used car?
A new car might have all of the most modern gadgets, but cars stop being up to date after a few years, so it won’t be new for long, and an older car can be much cheaper and more cost-effective.
Do You Understand the Associated Costs?
You might have budgeted for the initial cost of a car, but have you considered all of the associated costs that come with it? Driving lessons aren’t the only expense.
There’s insurance, which can be very expensive for new drivers, tax, fuel, services and MOTs and the costs of other repairs and maintenance. If you work in a city, parking might actually cost more than you spend on transport without a car.
What Do you Need From a Car?
You still want a car, so think about what you need from it. Do you need a family car with plenty of space? Something that is good off-road and handles all terrains well? Do you need a vehicle with extra safety features? Or something small ideal for city driving?
Write a list of some of the features that you would like before you go shopping.
Are You Ready to Get Out Onto the Road Alone?
Getting out on the road alone can be scary if you’ve always had an instructor sat next to you. If it’s been a while since your test, you might want to book some refresher lessons or spend some time driving with a friend or family member until you feel more comfortable.
Who Else Might Drive The Car You Buy?
If it’s going to be a shared car or a car that your partner might occasionally need, consider their needs and tastes as well as your own.