Buying your first car can be one of many rewarding feelings. Knowing you can finally enjoy the luxury of travelling around in your own space can be liberating. However, there is so much more that goes into owning a car than moving from one point to another.
It is crucial that you know these things before you buy a car, so owning one doesn’t become a financial burden for you. After reading this article, you should be better prepared to get on the road. Here are the top things that you should do before preparing to buy your own car.
The first most important thing to do before buying a car is to budget. This is because, without a budget, you could end up taking on a responsibility that you can’t handle. When budgeting, there are a series of expenses that you should include which you’ll see below.
Insurance: It is a legal requirement to have insurance when you’re driving. Look into how much insurance will be for you, especially if you’re a first-time driver. As of 2019, the average annual premium for new drivers was around £979 annually which would be about £82 a month. To get cheaper insurance, try doing fewer miles. Reducing your miles by 10,000 annually could save you over £100.
Fuel: Another expense that you need to budget for is fuel. This is a cost that can creep up on you, especially if you don’t budget. Research the average fuel consumption of the vehicle that you want to buy. Also, think about how often you’re going to be on the road and the rate of fuel in your area.
To save on fuel, take public transport when driving will work out more expensive. Also, make sure your battery isn’t in poor condition as it could result in the alternator continuously trying to charge the battery and consuming fuel.
Fix Your Credit
Unless you have the cash to buy your car outright, you’re going to need to use finance to buy your car. However, if you want to get a loan with the best interest rates, it’s crucial that you have good or at least fair credit.
To improve your credit, check your report to see what’s negatively affecting your score. If it’s debts, then make sure you draw up a plan to clear them as quickly as possible. You may also be affected by things like late payments, old debts that have been repaid, and foreclosures. Crediful will provide you with more information regarding how you can fix your credit.
Consider Economical Models
Some cars are cheaper to manage than others, so think about that before making a final choice on a car. Electrical cars, for instance, could save you a significant amount on fuel. Seeing as the government is keen on encouraging people to make a switch to electric cars, it is possible to get a grant towards the payment of your car.
You may be eligible for a plug-in-grant if you if you’re buying a brand new low-emission vehicle. However, only vehicles that have been approved by the government based on the level of CO2 emissions they give off will be approved for a grant. Some of the most economical cars out there right now are the Toyota Yaris Hybrid, Vauxhall Corsa and the Seat Ibiza SC Ecomotive.
Learn About Maintenance
Whether your car is new or used, it will need to be maintained at some point. The better your maintenance culture, the more likely your car is to last longer. Some types of maintenance that you’ll need to undergo are below.
MOT Checks: If your vehicle is three years old or more, then you’re required to have an MOT check done every year. This is necessary to ensure your car meets the minimum legal safety level. Seeing as there’s a strong possibility that your car will need repairs after the test results come, budget for that too.
Change your filters: One way you can maintain your car without a mechanic is by changing your filters. Your oil filters and air filters can become clogged after time. You can make your air filters last longer by washing them. If you’d rather not do it on your own it can be done as part of routine servicing.
Replace Spark Plugs and Leads: To optimise your engine’s performance, changing the spark plugs and leads should help. When you’re inspecting a spark plug to see if it needs to be replaced, checked for signs of melting, wear or deposits. Always read the vehicle handbook before replacing anything in your car.