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Today's contributed post discusses those among us who decided to put off getting your driver's license and now need to get auto insurance. It’s for informational purposes only, so please consult a financial and insurance professional before making any decisions. Got it?
Whether you booked driving lessons the second you were old enough, or waited until later in life to get behind the wheel, learning to drive is a huge achievement. There’s nothing quite like hearing your examiner give you the good news, and to know that all of your months of hard work has finally paid off.
Driving gives you independence like nothing else- being able to get from one place to another without having to rely on public transport or other people to give you lifts is incredibly freeing. It’s just something that will make your life better overall.
However being a car owner doesn’t come cheap, and so if you’re just passed your test you might be wondering what to do next from a financial perspective. Here are some ideas!
From a financial point of view, finding the right first car can be a fine balancing act. Your first thought will probably to buy an inexpensive, older car that you can use to gain experience in.
However the big problem here is that these older and therefore less expensive cars are often higher on auto insurance. This is because insurers see them as more risky as they’re more likely to break down- plus older parts can be difficult to replace.
Slightly newer cars will be less expensive to insure but of course will have a higher upfront price. One way to get around this if you don’t have money saved is to get finance, that way you can spread the cost to affordable monthly payments. You will need to run lots of quotes through comparison sites until you find a car that you can afford which is cheap enough on insurance.
Even very similar cars can give drastically different insurance prices so it’s worth putting in the research here to get the best deal. As well as price comparison sites, check out direct insurers too and give them a call. A black box insurance policy can be good for new drivers, you’re rewarded for safe driving which can help to bring down the cost.
You might feel like passing your driving test is the final milestone in your learning to drive journey but really it’s just the beginning. It’s a whole other ball game when you’re out on your own and it can be incredibly nerve wracking.
The trick is to gain as much driving experience as you can, but no need to throw yourself in at the deep end. Start off by doing shorter journeys at quieter times a day and build up. Go out with an experienced driver at first if you can which can reassure you can give you the initial confidence you need. Anything you never really mastered in your lessons such as parking and maneuvers, practice until you can do them easily.
Since you will be driving a different car to what you learned in, a lot of your initial driving experience will be getting used to the feel and handling of the vehicle. Being a safe driver with a clean driving history will mean in time your insurance will go down dramatically.
Being a car owner isn’t cheap, as well as all of the running costs you have to be prepared for the occasional breakdown too. For this reason it makes sense to have a savings account with some emergency money in it in case anything goes wrong.
Cars are sturdy machines that are built to last, but as with anything parts can and do go wrong. Purchasing breakdown cover is a smart move too, it will be much cheaper to buy a policy before anything goes wrong.
If you’re not covered and have to call a breakdown company on the day, you will pay all kinds of additional charges. Once you’ve been driving for a while you will really become accustomed to having your car, and so if anything goes wrong and you’re suddenly without it it can be a huge problem.
At least if you already have that money put aside and ready to go you can have any issues fixed without having to borrow money or scrabble around trying to find it. A few hundred put aside should cover most issues and make things a lot easier.
What would you recommend new drivers do when it comes to continuing to learn, as well as save money?