Passing your driving test is one of those coming of age things that allows you a little bit more responsibility. Now you can buy a car and drive around without a pesky instructor telling you to constantly check your mirrors. The problem is cars can get a little expensive, and that's not just the actual purchase. There's getting it serviced, taxed and insured to think about, along with the running costs. You'll actually be very lucky to get any car on the road for under £800 if you're being insured for the first time, but there are ways that you can beat that figure. Check out this handy list to see how to save when buying your first car.
Of course you need a car to drive, so unless you're going to get insured on your parent's motor, which might be seen as a risky business, you'll need to actually buy one. Getting a great car to start driving with is a dream, so you can forget brands like BMW and Mercedes unless you're Little Lord Fauntleroy, or just rather wealthy. Because your insurance will probably be quite high, you'll want to look out for a bargain. Hatchbacks are the most popular choices for first time buyers, with the Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta or Ka, Peugeot 206 or Vauxhall Corsa being the forerunning models. Take a look at a publication like Auto Trader, or head to websites such Ebay or Fish4 for used cars. It's also possible to get a real bargain through auction – and repossessed and used cars can sometimes go for as little as £50 or are merely given away!
If you buy a car privately and on the cheap, then you must make sure that it's serviced properly before you start driving it around. This includes making sure you have a valid MOT certificate for the vehicle, which can be checked online providing you have the paper certificate or a registration logbook. Servicing could be expensive if you buy a car in poor condition, but an MOT test for a car of up to 8 passenger seats costs £50.35.
If you're under 25 and you've only just passed your test, you will find that most insurance quotes will be high – and certainly over £500 if you're taking out a fully comprehensive policy. Just like car tax, it is a legal requirement to have car insurance, so there's no avoiding it. The easiest way of shopping for car insurance is to do it online. Sites like Money Supermarket give extensive lists of insurance quotes if you enter your details correctly. Have a look at supermarkets as well, ASDA Finance also have a number of providers to compare for car insurance.
You'll need to get tax as well as all the other expenses, and for a year it's a standard charge of £115 for a year or £63.25 for 6 months on cars of under 1549cc engine size. You can apply online, or go to a local Post Office with your insurance details and get one immediately.
How to do you finance all of this?
A lot of people get help from their parents when buying their first car. However, if you're not so lucky, you'll have to think about other options. Your car budget should reasonably be £800 - £1000 when all the expenses are considered, and if you don't get a bargain or you want to get a better deal then you should set your budget considerably higher – if you can afford it that is. If you're considering this option then you should think about applying for a loan. ASDA Finance is currently offering a rate of 6.9% for personal loans, alongside a number of other financial products such a 0% credit cards.
Search for driving instructors in your area - just select your county below :