Starting a new course at college or university can be very exciting, but you may find that a car is essential if you want to make the most of your new life as a student. You could, for example, need a car for getting to many of those exciting gigs and festivals that are coming up, not to mention weekends away with friends you make during your student years.
However, you are likely to be young and, due to this, inexperienced with shopping for cars. You may never have even previously made your own choice of car before – in which case, the onus is on you to think carefully about what you really want in a car and wish to do with it.
Add up all of the relevant expenses
Your expenditure on a car would be far from over after buying it, as there would also be operating costs to think about. Those costs could be dauntingly high in the case of a car that is relatively prone to breaking down. You should also take into account the expense of car insurance.
If the total of the necessary costs puts car ownership out of your budget, you could instead borrow a car from a friend or family member on particular occasions. However, you might need your own insurance for that vehicle. In the UK, driving without the right insurance is illegal; fortunately, broker Call Wiser can supply temporary car insurance for younger drivers.
Resist the temptation to exceed your budget
Once you have decided the extent of your budget, having factored in the financial obligations with which you will need to contend as a student, you should ward against straying beyond that budget.
If your finances could become very tight – particularly if there are certain study-related expenses for which you have failed to account, despite a thorough check on your part.
To this end, when seriously considering a particular car, look at the extras available and whether you would truly need them. Slightly nicer seats just wouldn’t be worth more debt, if this would indeed be the price. Still, consider that you might be able to negotiate down a high price that is initially quoted, as GearFire hints. Therefore, something outside your budget at first could soon be brought within it.
The car’s the star
While some of our recommendations above might have hinted otherwise, you shouldn’t be so zealous in your pursuit of a financially attractive deal that you overlook the car itself. Should your experience with cars be lacking, you could be surprised by the extent to which individual car models differ on account of their performance and features.
For example, while we have previously cautioned about the possibility of hefty operating costs, those costs could be somewhat relieved in the instance of a fuel-efficient automobile. With this type of car, you could avoid a vehicle that eats through fuel too quickly and, thus, expensively.
Nonetheless, it’s understandable if, when you look at the specification sheet for a particularly interesting car, you feel daunted by a lot of the terminology that you see. For this reason, you should not be afraid to ask for clarification when you need it. Your diligence at this stage could soon be rewarded with a car that meets your requirements brilliantly.