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The good car to drive for a new driver

Have you ever dreamed of owning your own car? Imagine driving down a tree-lined ­street with the windows down on a sunny day, a warm rush of air streaming through your hair… OK, snap out of your reverie. Before you start mapping out the route to the nearest beach, you just might want to learn some valuable car-buying tips. Buying a car, whether it’s a first-time purchase or not, can seem like a daunting task. You’ve probably seen your share of car commercials on TV and recall hearing phrases like “down payment” and “APR.” Although some of the terminology may seem confusing, once you break it down, buying a car is pretty straightforward. There is certainly a lot of information you need to understand before you run off to your local dealership. But once you know what the acronyms mean and how car financing works, you’ll be ready to get the best possible price on the car you’ve chosen.

If you are a teenager in high school, or a college student with no established credit history, there are a number of barriers in the way to your entry into car ownership. When you are young and invincible, you have all these starry eyed dreams about the car you are going to get, then reality sets in, as concepts you never had to deal with before suddenly leap out of no where to crush your dream and knock you back down to earth. How are you going to pay for your new car? Have you gotten insurance quotes? Who will finance you? Now you have to pay $80 a month in gas, and there’s oil changes, new batteries to buy, and other unexpected expenses. You must also put down 20% on the car to keep from getting upside down, where you owe more on the car than it is worth. If you cannot put down 20% on the car, then do not buy that car. You must buy a car in which you can afford to put down 20%. There is no room for arrogance or indignant responses here, it’s a mathematical fact of life. Every single person who breaks this rule runs into trouble when they trade in their car later. You never ever want to be in the position of owing more than your car is worth.

Getting a great car to start driving with is a dream, so you can forget brands like BMW and Mercedes unless you’re Little Lord Fauntleroy, or just rather wealthy. Because your insurance will probably be quite high, you’ll want to look out for a bargain. Hatchbacks are the most popular choices for first time buyers, with the Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta or Ka, Peugeot 206 or Vauxhall Corsa being the forerunning models. If you’re under 25 and you’ve only just passed your test, you will find that most insurance quotes will be high – and certainly over $500 if you’re taking out a fully comprehensive policy. Just like car tax, it is a legal requirement to have car insurance, so there’s no avoiding it. The easiest way of shopping for car insurance is to do it online. Have a look at supermarkets as well.

By Kristine Kremmer
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