So, you passed your driving test? Congratulations! Life on the open road will open new doors, no doubt. But, it’s also going to cost you. Running a car is very expensive. Not only do you have to save up for the initial expense, but paying for tax, insurance, fuel and maintenance can drain your bank account.
With this in mind, I thought I would bring together some tips that will help you save a bit of money on your very first car. After all, after spending all your savings on driving lessons, there may not be much left!
Don’t Buy New
There is little to no point in buying a new car when you have first passed your driving test. Firstly, while it isn’t guaranteed you will have a crash, it is statistically likely. Even if you emerge from your first year’s driving unscathed, there is still much to learn about driving. The chances are that you will have put a lot of pressure on your clutch and brakes while you get used to going out on your own. All of these factors mean that a used car is probably your best option.
Petrol or diesel consumption is going to cost you a lot, especially if you are driving more than average. So, make sure you are looking into fuel efficiency before choosing your first car. If you travel long distances, then diesel is your best bet, but for city dwellers, petrol wins hands down. The minimum level you should be looking for is around 60-odd miles per gallon.
Don’t Forget Maintenance Costs
Make sure you do lots of research about any potential car that you are thinking of buying. Running costs are enormous when you own a vehicle, and if you damage your car in any way, you are going to need some savings to get it fixed. Look into more reliable cars that don’t require a lot of spending on maintenance or repair. The RRG Group recommends the Suzuki Alto because of its cheap running costs, so perhaps use this as a starting point for comparison with other models.
The Big Insurance Problem
Unfortunately, as a new driver you are going to be saddled with expensive car insurance. There is no way around this, unfortunately because statistics show that you are more likely to have an accident or cause damage to a car. Until you have proved yourself a good driver, then you can expect your insurance to stay in the expensive bracket. However, if you avoid larger cars with bigger engines, then you can reduce the expense. One you have a couple of years of no claims, it will be cheaper for you to upgrade to a better set of wheels.
I hope you have got something out of this post. These four areas are the ones to tackle when you are buying your first car. As long as you remember to budget yourself for each month, you should be okay. Be wise with your buys, but most importantly, be safe on the road. Good luck!