Buying a car is one of the biggest costs most of us will ever fork out for, aside from buying a home. They don’t come cheap, it doesn’t even need to be a particularly new or fancy car and it will still cost you a significant sum of money. When you’re thinking about learning to drive and getting onto the roads, chances are it’s the cost of the car that you’re considering- however there are lots of other costs too. To work out if you can afford to own a car (even if you can afford to buy one) here are the things to take into consideration.
Driving Lessons and Tests
One of the first huge costs you need to foot as a driver-to-be is the actual learning process. The average cost of a driving lesson in the UK now is £24, and according to the DSA most people need between thirty five and ninety lessons to pass- however some people will need significantly more than this. On top of this, you also need to pay for your provisional licence, your theory test and your driving test. Along with additional tests if you don’t pass first time. This can all add up to a huge amount, so before you start lessons make sure you can afford the one to two lessons needed per week for the foreseeable future.
Once you’ve passed your test and are looking to buy a car, don’t sign on the dotted line until you’ve checked out insurance costs. As a new driver (especially if you’re younger) these will be through the roof. One of the main things you can do to bring down the price is to choose the right car. Even similar models and sized vehicles will differ wildly in price, so your best bet is to run lots of quotes through price comparison sites. Find a car that you like but that’s as cheap on insurance as possible. Accept that you might have to drive around a car that’s not your dream car for a few years, until you build up some no claims bonus and the price drops. Really, it’s not the car you need to be saving for but the insurance, as this will be just as costly in some cases.
Road tax is a legal requirement in the UK. The more emissions your car produces, the higher your road tax is- with newer, cleaner cars being very cheap and free in some cases. However most cars, especially those over a few years old will require tax which is an added cost to think about. It could be anywhere from £10 to hundreds of pounds, so this is something you will need to look into before buying the vehicle. In some cases, it will work out cheaper for both tax and insurance to purchase a newer, yet more expensive car. You could look into using car finance or even leasing if buying outright is out of your budget, you can find out more about this here.
We all know we need to put fuel in our cars, but when you don’t drive it’s easy to overlook just how expensive this can be. It’s an ongoing cost, and something you need to be prepared for as a driver. Work the amount into your monthly budget to make sure that you can afford the running costs of a car.
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