Apart from buying a house, a car is one of the most expensive items you will purchase as a young driver. Most young drivers find that buying a car is the easy part. Insurance can be very costly for a young or new driver, sometimes costing more per annum than they paid for the car. Then there’s car tax and mot tests, that’s all before you add the cost of fuel and maintenance.
Let’s look at insurance first. There are three levels of car insurance;
- Third Party, this cover offers the least protection if you have an accident. It covers the cost of repair to other vehicles and persons involved, however, it does not cover the cost of repair to your own vehicle or yourself. As a young driver this is probably not the best level of cover, however it will be the cheapest.
- Third Party Fire and Theft, this cover offers the same as above but also covers against theft of your vehicle and if it was to become damaged by fire.
- Fully Comprehensive, this covers all of the above, however, it also includes the cost of repairing your own vehicle and injury to yourself even if the accident was caused by you.
Remember, any damage caused by another driver is covered by their insurance no matter what level of insurance you have. The insurance company will use a number of factors to work out your annual premium, these include;
- Your personal details, age and postcode.
- The car you will be driving, type, age, mileage, value.
- How many miles you will drive each year.
- Any previous claims.
- Any criminal convictions.
- Whether you have any no claims bonus.
All of these factors help to build a picture of how “risky” you are and they will base your premium on this. The higher they find you to be a risk, the higher the premium.
Car tax is the next thing you are required to have by law. Car tax varies hugely in cost from zero to hundreds of pounds. This cost is calculated on the engine size for old cars and for new cars it is measured on emissions. Road tax is much easier to pay for now because back in October 2014, the paper tax disc was scrapped and it all went digital allowing us to pay monthly via direct debit instead of 6 and 12 monthly payments.
If you car is over three years old, then you are required to have an mot test every year. This is a test carried out on all vehicles to prove that they are road worthy and safe to drive. It usually costs around £30 for an mot test providing it passes first time.
If you buy a nearly new car, then it’s worth keeping up to date with the annual servicing. A full service history can add value to your car when the time comes to selling it. Most young drivers like to tinker with their cars but with most newer cars this is difficult and will need an experienced mechanic to carry out any work needed.
Breakdown cover is usually a good cover to have. There are many different types of cover you can have, from roadside assistance to full cover in Europe. Check what is included in each level of cover and select the best cover for your needs. At Premier Vehicle Care, we offer Pay-As-You-Go Breakdown Assistance.
And last but not least; there is the cost of fuel. Fuel prices have dropped quite a lot over the past 12 months, however if you don’t drive correctly in order to save fuel, then it’s still going to cost you a lot of money. Be careful when accelerating and don’t drive fast. Try not to leave heavy items in your car that aren’t necessary. Shop around for your fuel, supermarkets usually have the cheapest prices.
So with all that said, there is a lot to consider when becoming a new driver.
However if you follow this simple advice you should be able to save yourself some money.
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