By Lewis Robinson
For teenagers just getting their driver’s licenses, owning their own car would be a dream come true. If you’re a teen, the goal of buying a car is one worth pursuing and it’s well within your grasp. Here are six techniques to help you buy your own vehicle and ways to save on the expenses that go along with being a responsible car owner.
Take a Driving Class
Did you know that taking a driver’s education class can save you money? A driving class is already a good idea as you’re taught to drive by professional instructors both on the road and in the classroom. Taking a driver’s education class can save you significant money on your car insurance. If there’s a driving academy in your city, sign-up for classes as soon as you can because they tend to fill up quickly.
Get an Auto Loan
If you can’t come up with a lump sum of money to pay for a vehicle and you need one now, consider convenient auto financing. An auto loan is a good idea if you have a sizable down payment and are sure you can afford the payments. Your loan amount will be stretched out over time, but try to take the shortest term possible to pay it off. A loan may require a co-signer, so make sure you never miss a payment. An auto loan will also help you build your credit.
Find a Part-Time Job
Owning a car comes with a lot of costs. Not only do you have to pay for the car itself, but you need to worry about gas money, car insurance and routine maintenance like oil changes and tires. Because of these expenses, teens should be earning income at a part-time job. There are plenty of jobs for teens in retail, the food industry, cleaning or even landscaping. Look for a job that best suits your interests.
Select an Economy Car
Another way to significantly save money on buying a car as a teenager is to choose a less expensive model as a first car. When young people are just beginning to drive, it makes more sense to go with an economy car as long as it’s safe and in good condition. When car shopping, search and compare prices and remember that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Your first car won’t be your only car forever, so buy an inexpensive model to start with and know there’s plenty of time to save up for that Ferrari later.
Learn Defensive Driving
If you’re interested in saving even more money on car insurance, consider a defensive driving course. This type of class is more intense than regular driver’s education. When you sign-up, you’ll attend with the general public and people of all ages. This benefits those that are already driving, or that may have been ticketed, and want to specifically focus on becoming better drivers. You’ll learn about safety features, driving in inclement weather and how to react to other drivers on the road. This course can save you an extra 10% on car insurance.
Manage Financial Habits
As a goal-driven teenager that really wants to own an automobile, you can save up for buying a car faster by managing your other spending habits. Like anyone, if you can commit to spending less cash on fast food, clothes, entertainment or other impulse purchases, you can put more towards a vehicle. Consider opening a savings account at your local bank and watch your money grow. This will also teach you the value of saving money.
Save Money Now
You’re only a teenager once and these years are a terrific time to save money. Since you’re still unburdened by other bills like rent and utilities, sock away all the money you can now. Then, taking advantage of driving courses and getting discounts on insurance will not only save you even more, it will also make you financially smart.