6 things to consider when budgeting for your first car


*Post in association with Jessica Foreman

Finally getting your wheels can feel like a license to freedom but costs can quickly add up. Here are the 6 things you must consider for a smooth manoeuvre into driving; 

Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

  1. Your priorities

Buying your first car is all about managing your priorities. Is your main concern style or fuel efficiency? Will you go for a brand new or used car?

The price of cars can vary greatly and sometimes your dream car can be out of budget. Depreciation is a big cost any driver needs to factor in and brand new cars lose value much more quickly than used cars.

You need to ensure you can afford to run a car, too – so it’s worth doing your research to see if you’ll be able to balance the books.

  1. Getting the right insurance

There are a range of ways to get a good deal on your insurance as a young driver. The most competitive quotes usually use telematics technology which can save you hundreds.

WiseDriving, for example, have a range of options for young drivers, and their black box technology sends you updates and driving tips helping to make you a safer driver as you save money.

  1. Choosing an insurance-friendly car

Insurance is a significant cost for new drivers, and insurers will look at many factors when producing an insurance quote including the car model. The most popular cars aren’t always the cheapest to insure sometimes, insurance will cost more than the car itself. It’s always worth taking the time to choose a car with affordable insurance options.  

  1. Petrol or diesel?

Most cars run on petrol or diesel fuel, and while they work similarly, this choice can make a big difference to your driving experience. Petrol and diesel cars have a different driving ‘feel’, with petrol cars accelerating more quickly, and diesel cars being less likely to stall.

Petrol is cheaper to buy in the UK, but diesel engines tend to boast superior fuel economy. However, while it used to be possible to balance the higher cost of diesel cars with reduced tax costs, this is no longer the case as car tax rates are now determined by CO2 emissions – and diesel cars are often harsher on the environment.

  1. Checking the service history

Maintenance and repairs are a significant cost for any driver, so they need to be budgeted for. Some insurance policies will cover certain repairs but it’s worth checking this prior to taking out a policy.

When you buy a car, knowing the condition of a vehicle can seem like guesswork. But, learning how to check a car’s service history is a handy trick, meaning you’ll be informed of what state the car is in and can predict its future maintenance costs.

  1. Optional extras

Car insurance, tax and MOT costs are legally essential and you won’t get far without fuel. Optional extras can be a good idea, too, like breakdown cover. Take a look at this guide to securing cheap breakdown cover from Money Saving Expert – you may be surprised how easy it is to negotiate a great deal.

Happy driving, stay safe!

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