Getting your drivers license is an exciting right of passage for young adults, but it comes with certain responsibilities and costs. So before you lunge hastily into a new car purchase and hit the open road, it’s wise to weigh your options and prepare yourself for the real driving lesson ahead of you. That doesn’t mean driving can’t be fun; it just means you need to keep a level head at the same time. New drivers, here’s how to protect yourself and your finances:
Buy Your Vehicle Wisely
First of all, you need to do your research in terms of the car you are going to buy. Do not rush into this decision. Even if you’ve got your heart set on a particular model, make sure that you weigh your options. Compare the prices on different websites, and assess which features are included in the purchase. Some deals might seem incredible, but the truth is that you have to pay extra for certain safety features and other things that are essential to you. Don’t be caught out by a smooth-talking salesman. You might also want to do some research on the benefits to car leasing. If you want a brand new car, then this could save you a lot of money. After all, most drivers upgrade their vehicles every few years anyway.
You also need to think about the long-term cost that comes with a car purchase. If a particular model comes with a low price tag then you need to ask yourself why. Because there’s no point in saving a tiny bit of money on a vehicle that’s a gas guzzler, as you’ll end up spending much more in the long run at the pump. So it’s worth paying a little more for a car that will save you money over time. It’s also worth doing some research on the cost of insurance for a vehicle before buying it, as quotes can vary substantially from car to car.
Get The Right Type Of Insurance
Car insurance is a huge expense that drivers have to face if they want to own a vehicle. But it’s important to make sure you get the right type of insurance. You might be itching to own your own vehicle, but you can’t simply take the first quote offered to you, you need to shop around. Check out comparison websites to make sure you’re getting the best possible deal. You should do this before you buy that car in question, as you might find out that your dream car comes with sky-high rates, in which case you might want to consider a different vehicle altogether.
In addition, you need to think about the type of coverage that will be right for you. You could save money by option for a low mileage discount, as some companies will offer cheaper rates to people who drive fewer miles per year. As a new driver, you might not know how much you are going to use your car, but if you can limit your usage then you could save a lot of money on insurance. Things like good-student discounts may also be available, so be sure ask.
Drive Calmly And Smoothly
Simply driving well is another way to protect yourself and your finances, as driving calmly and smoothly will keep you safe on the road and save you money on car maintenance. Aggressive driving habits can wear out your vehicle more quickly, but bad driving can damage more than just your tires or your clutch. Braking and accelerating aggressively consumes more fuel, so you will have to top off your gas tank more often. If you want to save money on your car then simply drive responsibly. The way you use your vehicle on the road determines how much you’ll have to pay to maintain it. That makes sense. The better care you take of your car, the longer it’ll last.
Money aside, you need to understand that you’re a new and inexperienced driver, so you need to take a calm and measured approach to driving. It’s important to remember that having a license doesn’t make you an invincible driver. And the same goes for other people on the road. Drive defensively. If you see a driver doing something dangerous, keep your distance rather than letting road rage get the better of you. Otherwise, you could exacerbate the situation. In order to avoid incidents, it’s crucial to be observant of your surroundings and focus on what you can control: your own driving. You can’t stop other drivers from doing irresponsible things, but you can react to them in a calm and collected manner.
Maintain Your Vehicle
A well-maintained car won’t just keep you and others safe on the road, it will save you a lot of money that you might otherwise face if you had to repair your car after a breakdown or some other mechanical issue. Through regular maintenance, you can avoid expensive repair jobs and ensure that you’re driving a safe vehicle which will protect you and your passengers. Make sure you frequently check the tire pressure and the oil levels. You should do jobs according to your mileage. That’s a good way to gauge when you’re due a check-up. Changing the oil and air filters are jobs that should be done on a consistent and regular basis. You need to flush the brake and cooling systems on a regular basis too.
Get Your Vehicle Serviced
Continuing from the previous point, it’s important to get your vehicle serviced regularly. Even if you’re adept in terms of vehicular maintenance, that doesn’t mean you can forego a regular check-up from a team of professionals. There’s always a chance you could miss something, and that can lead to a very expensive repair job. It’s better to book annual appointments to get your vehicle serviced so that you can have the peace of mind that everything is in working order. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Plus, the small cost of regular servicing is much lower than the big cost you’d face if your car broke down or ran into some other issue. That being said, if you notice a problem with your car (no matter how small) then it’s always wise to take it into a mechanic or to talk with some sort of specialist. If you can resolve a small problem before it becomes something bigger then you’ll save a lot of cash and avoid the possibility of putting yourself in danger on the road.
Take A Course
Considering that you’ve got your license and you’re ready to drive, you might not feel that you need another driving course. However, there’s much more to driving than what you learned in drivers ed. If you want to avoid making dangerous situations on the road, you should consider taking a defensive driving course. Not only will it keep you safer on the road by teaching you how to react to situations safely but it will also save you money in the long run, as it can lower your insurance premium since you’ll be seen as less of a liability to insurers. Remember, your learning isn’t complete when you get your license. It’s not even complete after a defensive driving course. You learn by driving independently. Experience is the best educator for drivers. You’ll get better as time goes by.