Teenagers love the freedom of owning their first car brings, at the same time, such a purchase also brings in lots of responsibility. You need to be ready for the expenses that go into running your car after you have figured out how much you are paying for the vehicle. There are costs associated with fueling, maintenance, repairs, taxes, insurance and much more.
Below are strategies that will make getting behind the wheel of a new or used car as painless as possible. Since owning a car means sharing the road responsibly, it is important that you do not make some common mistakes when making the purchase.
Have a Budget
It is important for teenagers and their parents to have a reasonable budget in place before purchasing a car. The amount available for the down payment and monthly instalments on the loan will determine the type of vehicle you can get.
Another critical consideration is determining whether the said car will be used by the teen through high school, college and beyond. Knowing this will help determine how new and reliable the vehicle should be.
One of the best ways to saving money is through purchasing a used vehicle. New cars tend to lose about half of their value within five years, so choose one that is a couple of years old but with safety features. On the other hand, buying a used car also means you are getting a nicer car.
Financing is a challenge for many teen buyers. Therefore, lenders will look at adults with a good credit score for co-signing or outright purchasing of the car. The great news is that most financial firms have programs for college graduates and students that feature special rebates.
Carry Out Research
Once you have a budget, create a short list of vehicles. However, the list should contain practical vehicles that will help minimize ownership costs and fit into a teenager’s requirements.
Parents should avoid getting large, luxurious or sporty vehicles for their teens at all costs. For starters, a high-horsepower car or one fitted with the latest gadgets is not practical. Second, insurance companies penalize younger drivers with sporty vehicles, big engines and extra features.
Inspect and Test Drive
Read online reviews of cars when choosing a model. Pay particular attention to data like reliability, features and mpg. At the same time, look out for complaints about ride quality and seat comfort, but you can confirm this during a test drive.
At a dealership, such as Bob Gillingham Ford, new cars are considered as consistent performers, and a casual inspection will help confirm the car’s “new” condition. On the other side of the coin, used cars have led unique lives, some have been pampered and others abused. You can also get a used car from a trusted family member or friend who is willing to share with you the car’s history.
While shopping for used cars, ensure that you have a car-savvy adult with you. Give each car a careful inside and out, bottom to top inspection during daylight hours. The inspection will help ensure that a car is in the condition the seller claims.
When you have found a new or used car that fulfils your requirements, you should also make sure that it has critical features that make driving it safe. Some of the must-have safety features the new or used car should have to include Antilock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and head-protective side airbags. Newer cars have a Forward-Collision Warning (FCW) system and a backup camera for a better driving experience.