Tips for running your first car on a budget
If you are a young driver, then owning a car can put a real strain on your wallet. You will no doubt have spent a fair chunk of your money on buying that first car, but the expense does not stop there. Buying gas is expensive and prices can rise at any time. Keeping the vehicle roadworthy will also be costly, and you will no doubt be shocked at the cost of your car insurance as insurers do tend to hit young drivers with very high premiums. Also, do not forget that as well as running the car, you will have other living expenses to meet. With all this in mind, you will need a few tips to help you run your first car on a budget.
If you are buying a vehicle, it is always a good idea to shop around for cars that are cheap to run. This may not mean choosing the cheapest car in the showroom – after all, it might be a gas guzzler that costs you a small fortune to keep on the road. Cars that are renowned as being inexpensive to run include the likes of the Toyota AYGO, the SEAT Ibiza, and the Dacia Sandero, so it might be worth your while considering one of those.
Finding a vehicle that is inexpensive to run is not easy, and that fact is compounded should you decide to buy a used car. In this case, take a friend with knowledge of cars along with you to the showroom. If you see a car that you like, check the body for old knocks and signs of rust, and ask to look at the car’s log book and service history. If possible, ask to take a test drive. This will save you from buying a vehicle that spends a lot of the time in the garage while being fixed, and costing you even more on repairs.
Having decided on the car that you want to buy, there is the question of how you are going to complete the purchase. Unless you are on a very good wage, the chances are that the vehicle you can afford will break down regularly, have high maintenance costs, and more than likely have high fuel consumption. Unless someone actually wants to purchase it for you, or a parent is willing to lend you the money, the only other option is a car loan. You should be able to find help and advice online such as with Ontario car loan company Auto Loans.
While you will no doubt be eager to take your first car out on the road, you must first ensure that you have motor insurance. This is a legal requirement. As stated above, as a young driver, you will find motor insurance very expensive, and some insurers may not even want to do business with you. However, you can shop around and seek more affordable motor insurance. You can do this by ringing round or visiting different brokerages, or better still, you can search online. You might also be able to set up the insurance online. As the premiums are likely to be very heavy, you may be able to pay the premium in monthly installments – the best option, if available.
There are various types of motor insurance. Fully comprehensive will cover costs for both your own vehicle and any third party, should you be unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident. The problem with fully comprehensive cover is that it can be prohibitively expensive for new drivers. There is a cheaper option, third party, which, as the term suggests, covers only the other vehicle and not yours. This type of policy is not advisable if you have taken out a car loan.
Another tip for running your car on a budget is to learn car maintenance. Garages tend to be very expensive, so by being able to do some maintenance yourself, you could save a lot of money. However, you should never try to fix anything yourself unless you are 100% sure of what you are doing as that could make things worse and even make your car dangerous to drive.
The cost of gas can easily eat into your budget, especially if you do a lot of driving, so to save money, fill up at stations where the gas is the cheapest. Also, learn to drive in such a manner that keeps your fuel usage low.
Being a young driver with your first car will no doubt put a strain on your budget. By taking good advice and shopping around, you should be able to ease that strain and hopefully enjoy happy, carefree driving.