(Image Source: Flickr)
Young drivers who have passed their test probably can’t wait to get their first car, without necessarily understanding what that might cost. Running a car is expensive, and for those just starting to drive, it’s even more expensive. Young drivers face much higher insurance costs because insurance companies regard new, and especially new, young drivers, as a greater risk. The first thing that you need to do after passing your test is to swap your provisional for a full driving licence.
Your First Car
Most drivers, and especially most younger drivers (other than the very rich), start out with a second hand vehicle. If you’ve saved some money, or your parents are helping you out, take an experienced driver with you when you’re looking at cars. A long-term driver will know what to look for, and what to avoid when buying a used car. Once you’ve got your first car, there are some legal requirements that need to be met before you can take it out on the road.
What the Law Requires
This article started out with the high cost of car insurance, but you must have this before you can legally drive your car. Shop around for the best insurance deal; if you don’t have enough money to pay it all at once, a growing number of insurers now allow monthly payments. Shop around; some insurance companies will have better deals than others. You need to tax your car before you can legally take it on the road.
Taxing a car is expensive, and can cost up to £1,000 a year. One of the things that affects this is what band the vehicle is in when it comes to vehicle CO2 emissions. Car tax is also affected by the type of fuel your car needs, so it’s worth asking these questions when you purchase a second hand motor. As with insurance, it is possible to pay your car tax on a monthly basis but this will make the cost a bit higher overall.
If the car you’ve bought is older than three years, it needs an MOT; this involves a series of tests to ensure that your car is safe enough to be driven on public roads. The government requires that your vehicle has an MOT test once a year to determine whether it is still road worthy. It’s worth asking around because prices can vary from one place to another; the average is between £40 and £50.
An MOT involves many different checks on a vehicle, and if there is a problem, then fixing that will have an additional cost. It is well worth doing some simple checks before you take the car in, as you can fix some things yourself. Make sure that the car is free of clutter when you take it in, and that your tyres are pumped to the required level. It’s a good idea to check that the oil and water levels are as they should be – it’s just not worth risking a fail for minor things that you should check before the vehicle goes in.