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To Buy, Or Not To Buy: Owning Your First Car

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We all have a story that tends to follow a very similar process. We get older, we graduate from school, we get our first job and start making an income, and then we think about buying a car. A car is there to give you the freedom that you want and even need as an adult. Of course, there is always public transport available to you, but this can be a hassle at times as you’re always having to depend on something. The idea of having your own car is that you don’t need to. When you want to go to the shops or the cinema, or the park, or on that road trip you keep fantasizing about – you can.

So growing up and owning your own car can be a really big step up, that can change your life for the better. Giving you that independence you have always wanted.

As we continue on into 2018, you will see how so many things are changing as technology gets more and more advanced. There are now options out there like self-driving vehicles, which means you can essentially sit back and relax while the car navigates its way to wherever you have programmed it to go. While this sounds super cool, there is still a lot of speculation about this because people aren’t quite ready to hand their complete control over to a robot, regardless of all the safety precautions put in place. So, for now, us humans are still happy with how driving works, but who knows, within a decade or two that may be changed forever, and we’ll be relying on robots to take us from A to B every single day.

Owning a car may seem rather straightforward, but it’s very important that you understand how difficult things can get sometimes. You don’t just buy a car and then that’s that. There is a lot that goes into it and many different costs that all start to add up and become pretty pricey – but that’s just how things work. A car is most likely one of the biggest investments you will ever make, other than when you plan on buying your own house. Having said that, this shouldn’t put you off. Sometimes it can be a bit of a headache, but the sooner you accept and understand what it all means – the easier everything will become.

Here are some important areas of what goes into owning your own car.

Will it fit into your monthly lifestyle?

It’s so important that before you even think about buying your very own car, that you do your calculations correctly. Regardless of what various deals there are, or what advice car experts are giving you – if it doesn’t fit into your monthly budget then there’s just no point as you’ll end up in over your head and most likely struggling to pay off your debt. So you need to break everything down in order to have a proper look at the costs. Think about the job that you have and how much you’re earning each month. Then any bills that you take out of that, as well as your grocery shopping and any other expenses that you are required to pay. Then have a look at the number you have left, and figure out if that is enough to put money on your car, like the fuel, the insurance, the general maintenance, the tax, as well as the actual car itself if you had to take out a loan. Are you able to pay for all of that, while still having a little bit of money left over to put away or to look after yourself? Remember, you still want to be able to live, not just survive. So think long and hard about your circumstances and whether you’re ready for such a big financial commitment.

Keep note of your mileage

There are a few reasons to keep track of your mileage. Sometimes you want to keep it as low as possible if you think that one day you plan on selling the car and buying a newer one. The lower the mileage you have on the vehicle, the higher you can sell the car for as this is what people look at when making a deal, as if it’s still rather low, it means they can still get a good ride out of it. Another reason is that when you buy your car, it will come protected with a warranty that was given by the car manufacturer, but this only usually lasts for 3 years (or 36,000 miles). It covers all problems that may arise in your car causing it to malfunction, either by fixing the issue or replacing the vehicle which costs you absolutely nothing. When this runs out though, you might want to get Nissan extended warranty from Carchex that gives you an option of an extra 3, 5, or 10 years.

Can you live without one?

This is probably one of the most effective, and yet simple questions that you can ask yourself. Do you really need one, or do you just want one? If you have someone in your family that is around the same age and owns a car – have a sit down with them and ask them to give you an idea of how much it really does cost every month, or every year. Having a realistic idea from someone that you trust can really put things into perspective. A good idea is to carry on for a month without a vehicle, and then compare the price of getting around like that, to what it would be if you have your own car. Having said all of that though, even if you do realize that going without a car is a lot cheaper for you, doesn’t mean that it’s the right decision. Sure, you may have a bit more money left in your bank account at the end of the month, but are you any happier? Do you feel independent and free? Or are you still miserable every time you see your friends arriving in their own car while you’re having to work out bus and train timetables in order to make it on time?

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