Learning to drive is a rite of passage among many, and the process takes a lot of determination and practice. If you have just started with your lessons, then you may have often felt the anxiety of getting behind the wheel. This is why many have chosen to purchase their first car even before they take their practical test. Having a car of your own gives you the opportunity to practice a lot so that, when the time comes to take the test, you’ll be confident and ready to take on the challenge.
So is it definitely a good idea to get your car before your full licence? Let’s have a look at some of the factors…
There are many kinds of cars available on the market; your choice would depend on your budget. Second hand cars are less expensive than new ones, but they could spell a problem for you if the previous owner had not properly maintained them. Settling for a used car means making sure it is roadworthy and reliable, or else you’ll end up paying more for having it serviced. The cost of insurance would also vary depending on the car, so make sure you cover all the bases.
There have been situations in which learner drivers were able to buy their first car before passing their test, only to leave it standing still because they cannot afford the insurance they need before getting on the road. This would then defeat the purpose of getting a car in the first place.
In addition to insurance coverage and servicing costs, you would also need to consider road tax, which also varies depending on the type of car you choose to get. Generally, new cars—especially those that have been deemed to be eco-friendly—have low to zero road tax. Do your homework and research on road tax and insurance if you decide to buy a car, and don’t forget fuel costs!
Many learner drivers who decide on buying their first car before passing their driving test say that having a car gave them the motivation to practice manoeuvres privately ahead of the test. Having a car gives them an incentive to keep trying difficult turns, parking, hill starts etc. Being able to practise driving skills whenever you want (as long as you’re supervised, of course) also lets you build up the confidence and competence you need when it’s time to take the practical driving test – and consider the knowledge you need to accumulate when it comes to the theory test.
That’s not the only way buying in advance can be a good motivation either. Imagine how keen you’ll be to learn once your shiny new motor is parked on the drive and waiting for you to take it for a spin? You’ll put that extra bit of effort into your lessons and test once the prize becomes a reality. If you’re the sort of person who is spurred on by needing a goal, buying your car will provide you with the stimulus you need.