How to save for first car
Your first car is something that you remember forever. You’ll remember the make, model, colour and even the name you gave it. Those four wheels gave you freedom. The open road to have independence and go where you want, when you want. A lot of us head to a drive-through within a few days of having our first car and treat ourselves to some fries and a burger off the menu. We might pick up our friends for a road trip or drive to our favourite destination with that wonderful view. All whilst choosing exactly what songs we want to listen to on the sound system. That first vehicle that is ours is special. Let’s have a look at how to save for first car.
Do you need a car?
Firstly, before you start looking at cars to buy, you should ask yourself if you need one right now. There is quite an outlay to buy your first car and you should assess whether or not that money could be used elsewhere in your life. It isn’t just the outlay either, there is constant money to put towards your set of wheels. When you save for first car you need to remember that you will need more than the money for the vehicle. Are you able to rely on public transport or lifts from loved ones at the moment? Maybe you can walk to the places you spend most of your time. It might not be the right time at the moment to buy a car, however, you can still think ahead and pan. That way you can save for first car and when you get to the point where you do need a vehicle you will have money in place.
What vehicle do you require?
If you decide to save for first car, you need to think about the type of car you will need. Many of us have different requirements for our vehicles due to the family we have, the places we intend to drive and the career we have. You aren’t going to want a teeny tiny vehicle if you have a couple of children to ferry around. Similarly, if you spend a lot of time driving narrow country roads you probably won’t want a huge car that you’ll have trouble getting anywhere in. Our jobs can also dictate what type of car we look for. If you travel a lot with your job you might want something roomy, especially if you carry a lot of equipment with you for trade shows. These are all things to consider.
Test drive & price check
It’s worth heading off and actually having a look at these cars you’re interested in. Most car sales garages will give you a test drive, or at least let you sit in their showroom models so you can get a feel for the vehicle. This is well worth doing because so often we might have an idea of a car we want but when we sit inside it we find out it’s just not for us. Don’t be afraid to take along that pushchair or pram to see if the boot is big enough. Sit in the back seats to see just how much room there is for those of us with longer legs. You also need to compare the prices of these vehicles.
Look at alternatives
It’s important to look at alternatives when we are looking to buy a car. You might have your heart set on a certain vehicle, however, if there is a similar alternative at half the price, you’d be daft to go for the expensive option. You might also think that your first car needs to be brand new. If you buy second-hand, you’ll be able to find a car with a few miles already on it, but at a much more affordable price. Shop around, look at different makes and models and be sure to haggle too. If you aren’t sure, walk away! You might get a salesperson coming after you with a better price.
Consider other costs too
As well as the buying of the car, there are loads of other payments you will need to make to get your car on the road. To begin with, there is road tax and insurance. This can set you back a few hundred pounds. On top of that, there is the maintenance of your vehicle, so servicing and the annual MOT. You might have repairs to pay for too and consider anything that needs doing to the interior. A flat tyre can set you back a wedge of cash too. There is also the fuel to pay for. The cost of petrol and diesel has skyrocketed recently but is slowly on the way back down. Whilst it’s more expensive than maybe a year ago, we still need it to run our cars. So be sure you know how much it is going to cost to fill up your car and how far on average it will take you.
Once you know what you want to buy and when you want to buy it, you need to start to save for first car. If it is important to you, you need to prioritise this saving. You might need to sacrifice a few nights out and takeaways, but you can focus your efforts on knowing that you’re saving for the thing you want the most right now. Set up a dedicated savings account and make use of those round-up and budgeting features of challengers banks. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can put money aside when you really focus on it. Make sure you are saving into an account with a decent interest rate so your savings actually make you a little bit of extra on top. If you’re saving £5000 in a year, a 3% interest rate will give you an extra £150 over 12 months. That will fill up your car with fuel a couple of times or go towards your insurance!
Start to save for first car now and enjoy those wheels when you get them.