New Driver Dilemmas: Make The Cost Of Car Ownership A Little Cheaper!*

*This is a collaborative post*

Passing your tests and getting out onto the roads in your first car is the best feeling in the world, but it doesn’t come cheap. If you’re in the process of doing your lessons or you’ve recently passed, here are a few things to bear in mind to keep costs down.

Save while you’re doing lessons
Driving lessons are expensive, but as you do them each week you’re able to spread the cost. As well as paying for your weekly lesson or lessons, if you can put a bit of money aside ready for when you pass this can help you out massively. Not only do you need money for the car but for insurance, tax, fuel, MOTs and any repairs. It helps to have some put aside so you can afford upfront and ongoing maintenance costs.

Take a pass plus course
When you’ve passed your driving test, the last thing you’ll probably want to do is fork out more money for more lessons. However it’s well worth getting your pass plus, not only will this give you invaluable driving experience (and reduce your chance of having an accident) but it can bring your insurance costs down too. Run some quotes and see how much you’d save with pass plus, find out if it’s worth it for you to pay for it.

Choose the right model
When it’s finally time to get your first car, it’s easy to be swayed by looks. We all want a car that we love, and you might have a model in mind that you’ve wanted forever. However from a financial and practical point of view, it makes sense not to do this. For your first car, you should look for something that’s economical to run, reliable, has cheap repairs and is low on insurance. This probably won’t be the car of your dreams, but in time as you build up driving experience and a no claims bonus your insurance prices will go down. At that point you can start looking for something that’s stylish as well as practical .

Research prices
The cost of cars, even those of the same model, similar age and mileage can vary dramatically. You will need to do plenty of research to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Sometimes it will be cheaper to buy privately, others it will be cheaper to go to a garage or dealership. For example if it’s a Smart Car you have in mind, you might get a much better deal at a Smart Car dealership compared with buying privately or vice versa- it all depends who is selling what at the time. Spend time comparing prices and be prepared to travel to get the right car at the right price. Sometimes it might involve getting a train somewhere to find the right vehicle as the right one for you might not necessarily turn up locally at during time you’re looking.

Owning and maintaining a car doesn’t come cheap, and is something that will take a significant chunk of your monthly money- at least for the first few years after passing your test. However having a license and your own vehicle is freedom like no other, it’s worth every penny!

*Image via Pexels

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