Purchasing a new car is sometimes surrounded by many complexities that often put off potential buyers. Things get even more complicated if the buyer is an unemployed or college-going teenager. But that notwithstanding, nothing supersedes that experience of owning a car before hitting your 20s.

One advantage of buying a car while still young is that you will qualify for the best car warranty deals available. Premium warranties today make it highly convenient for everyone to buy cars, teenagers included.

If you are a teenager and planning to buy your first car, here are a few tips to get you started.

1.         The size of your new car matters

Chances are that you just learned how to drive, so you aren’t too experienced on the road. Driving a huge, sophisticated, and high-powered car might present new challenges to you; challenges that can leave you prone to road accidents. A super-small car, on the other hand, might not be stable enough for your needs. Remember that you are at the prime age for making new friends and exploring your country. That is why you should opt for a midsize car that is easy to control and at the same time big enough to accommodate all your college buddies in case you decide to hit the road for a group trip.

2.         Know your options: New or used car?

New cars attract hefty upfront costs, but they aren’t as expensive to maintain as used cars are. They have low initial maintenance costs, superior fuel economy, and more advanced safety features. Also, new cars will always come with warranties, which is not necessarily the case with used cars. That, however, shouldn’t mean that old cars cannot outlive new cars or even serve you better. In fact, old cars have their advantages, one of them being that you have a wide variety of old car models to choose from as opposed to new cars that limit your choices to only a handful of models.

So, which car age is best: Old or new? Well, any can do. Just look for a car that suits your budget and preferences. Be cautious, however, when buying used cars as unscrupulous car dealers are known to hide signs of tear and wear and consequently hide the actual age of a car.

3.         Choose a car with modern safety features

 Be keen on security features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), anti lock brakes, airbags and back-up cameras. As a teenager, you want a car that will allow you to drive safely around carved and slippery roads even when driving at top speed. You definitely want to challenge your driving skills on the most difficult dare-devil roads in your country. 

4.         Set you budget limit

 You need to set targets that are easy to achieve. If a car is outside your budget range, just forget about it and move on. If you need an auto loan, discuss your options with your senior siblings, parents, or any other experienced person that you trust. Maybe it will be best to find someone to cosign a loan with.

 Because studies have revealed that teenagers are more prone to falling into depression, be careful not to set unrealistic budgets that will frustrate your well-intended plan. Note that depression leads to reduced productivity and hampers the victim’s daily life. For what it is worth, consult with a life coach if you need guidance in finding the right path and clear your thoughts before deciding how much you wish to spend on your first car.

5.         Review the cost of owning that car

On top of the upfront cost, owning a car precipitates many more hidden expenses. You probably would want your car to have a modern sound system, shiny rims, and tinted windows, among other flashy features. That’s without forgetting gas, insurance, registration, etc.  Acquire as much information about these expenses as possible. Know which insurance covers to go for, their cost, and worth. Don’t forget to inquire about the availability of your car’s spare parts.

6.         Have the car inspected before paying for it

Have a professional mechanic review everything about your to-be car, including the fluid level, tires, engine condition, lights, and any other general car feature that the professional will recommend. This is particularly important if the car is used.

 7.        Test driving is also fundamentally important

Test-driving will help you determine the car’s acceleration in different environments. Check on any performance issue and test the advanced systems such as review cameras and voice command.

8.          Pre-determine a budget for your car’s maintenance

Regardless of if your car is new or old, it will always come with incurring maintenance costs in the long- run. “This is because there are unforeseen costs that you will simply not be able to predict, such as getting your car’s bumper scratched, minor accidents, changing the tires, paying for gas, changing your car’s colour if so be your preference, or adequate windows that shield you from UV radiation while driving.” said experts from Roseville Auto Tint. Therefore, you need to at least have a hypothetical budget that will go into the maintenance of your car. And if you don’t have such a budget, you will need to reconsider the type of car you want to buy, or whether you should at this point buy one at all.

9.           Enjoy driving to the fullest

After you buy the car, make sure to travel and enjoy driving as much as you can. Take road trips, visit your family members or friends, travel to new places. What’s even better about owning a car is the possibility to visit hidden places that no bus or metro reaches them. Imagine how fun and lovely it will be to travel abroad with your own car and your international driving permit

Congratulations on acquiring your very first car. If you haven’t acquired a driver’s license yet, please do so ASAP to avoid getting into trouble with authorities. Finally, note that owning a car is a big responsibility. It is your obligation to keep it in a safe condition, same as observing all road safety rules.

Article by: Mia Larinson

Photo by: Why Kei on Unsplash

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