A first-time driver should look to own a car that is both inexpensive and easy to maneuver. Although no safe car is truly inexpensive, when you are young it’s still important to get something reasonable.
When to Start Driving
Is 18 the best age to start driving? The most common answer is that it depends on how responsible you are. Not on is operating the vehicle a big responsibility but so is where and when you choose to drive. There’s also the matter of affording it. Gas prices are high, but for your drivers the insurance is the big expense.
Many people don’t have much choice, they land a job and need the transportation. Others might need to drop a younger sibling off at school for a parent that works odd hours.
Again, the insurance is the big cost for young drivers, so maybe you should only start driving when you can afford to do so?
On the Topic of Insurance
It’s always a good idea to have one of your parent’s names on the insurance even if they don’t drive it just to keep the premiums down. Many states require all licenced drivers who live in the same home to be insured on all the vehicles registered to that address. It must be nice to be in an industry where you get to assume things about your client’s behaviour and charge accordingly.
Black Box Insurance
You see insurance companies advertise how you can get a great rate by letting them plug a device into your car that monitors your driving. You may be inclined to try it out, but is “black box” insurance worth it? It depends on how good a driver you are and what time you drive. If you are a bad driver, it can give you feedback on your driving but also penalize you with high premiums. It will give your insurance company information on whether you drive late at night and will penalize you for it. Most students have work nights after school so it doesn’t work out as a good idea.
There are problems too if you exceed your stated mileage for a year this will also mean your premiums increase. Other information gathered by the “black box” is how well or how badly you accelerate, your braking skills and the errors you perform while attempting to park. Skills a young driver may be yet to acquire. It also knows when you speed so to sum up it’s not a good idea for most young drivers.
Taking your Car to College
When you take a car to college it’s so much easier to run errands like filling up the fridge but then again you are spending a sizable amount on gas and maintaining the vehicle. There’s the dilemma over where you park it too. If you are parking on campus, there will almost certainly be a charge.
Finally, onto Types of Cars.
Smart ForFour has the advantage of a turbocharged engine located in the trunk. Another plus point is its turning ability, helpful if attempting this maneuver has ever caused you to stall.
The Mini Hatchback may not be ideal for the first-time driver’s budget unless you are a late starter or have rich parents. Still there are a huge number of customizing options – just more a second or third car really.
The Fiat 500 has rather a vintage feel, though your fellow students may not like sitting in the back-it feels more like a family car in this respect. There’s a range of pastel hues to choose from, though a student might be interested in red.
When you buy the first car look into such items as emergency braking and how reliable it is. Do you have the option of low-rate finance? As with any car it’s always best to take it for a test drive before you commit, and get it examined by a car inspection service like Tire Kickers.