Driving is a rite of passage that ushers teens into the world of adulthood. By the age of 18, teenagers can apply for a driving license, which allows them to drive a car or any other type of vehicle which enables them to go to school, work, or run errands in a convenient way. But apart from getting a license, one other challenge that you’ll have to go through before getting behind the wheel is buying your first car. The whole process can take weeks or months before you can decide on which vehicle to get, but if you do your research, you can have the right car that’s suitable for your budget. Here’s a guide to buying your first car.
Set a realistic budget
Figuring out how to afford a vehicle can be daunting, especially if you’re a teenager or if your parents are going to be paying for it. However, if you set a realistic budget and timeline for getting your car, you’ll be a car owner in no time at all. If you’ve got your heart set on buying a brand new car, check out how much money you’ve got saved in the bank for the deposit, and figure out how much you need to earn to pay the monthly payments. You can also get an auto loan, but since you lack credit history, you’ll need an employed parent to co-sign your application. Another way to get your own car is to buy a used vehicle. Make sure to test drive before buying a used car, and have it checked by a mechanic or an adult who knows a lot about advanced car maintenance to ensure that the vehicle isn’t damaged or defective in any way.
Consider your lifestyle
You’ve probably got your heart set on buying a sexy, two-seater ride for your first vehicle, but before putting down the cash, think whether your car is suitable for your lifestyle. If you’re a student who plays a lot of sports or if you need it for work, then a typical sedan or a pickup truck might work for you. Meanwhile, if you’re sharing it with family members, an SUV, a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) or an Asian utility vehicle (AUV) may be a better pick for you.
Keep maintenance costs in mind
Your car needs to be maintained on a regular basis, so you’ll need to factor in the cost of maintenance while purchasing a vehicle. You’ll also need to think ahead and make sure that spare parts are readily available in your area in case something needs to be replaced in your car. Buying a car from an unfamiliar brand can mean costly repairs and long waiting times for spare parts to arrive, so it’s in your best interest to buy a vehicle from brands that are popular in your country. For instance, cars from Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki, Toyota, Tata Motors, and Mahindra are very common in India, so it may be advisable to get a car from any of these brands for your convenience.
Becoming a car owner enables you to have more freedom, but car ownership comes with a lot of responsibility. Remember to pay the monthly payments on time, have your car regularly maintained to keep it in good condition, and always drive safely so you can enjoy the benefits of having your own car.