Taking, and passing your driving test, is thankfully one of the few things you don’t have to worry about again until you are at least around a hundred years old, that’s why it’s such an achievement. If you’ve passed, shout it loud and proud. Rip up those L plates, and just remember one thing. Don’t drink and drive!
But as much as it’s an achievement, passing your test is really just the beginning of your driving adventure. You won’t be driving anywhere unless you get a car. And no matter what age you are, that in itself needs careful planning.
Of course, you fantasize about getting a brand new motor. Who wouldn’t? While your friends are driving around in their trusty reliable cars, chosen for their zero car tax, and low emissions, your keywords on Google might be ‘sporty, convertible, leather upholstery, tinted windows, and brand new’.
It’s bloody great to have aspirations, but how do you pay for champagne tastes on a lemonade salary? Well, you’ll need some help to work out your finances that’s for sure.
Somehow, your first car sets the bar for all future cars. Your choice sets your standards forever, and also kind of sorts the men from the boys. There is a hierarchy in first-time car ownership. Will it be a hand-me-down from an elder sibling, or, will your family understand the importance of your first set of wheels and treat you to something special?
But let’s say it’s all down to you to source, and purchase your first car. You’ve squirreled away a bit of hard cash, and your job prospects are not too shabby. But you need to think long-term and juggle some figures before heading off to do some tyre kicking.
The past couple of years has fundamentally changed so much about our everyday lives. Nothing is certain anymore. Previously, we may have expected a few ups and downs at the petrol pump, but now it seems there are only ups and no downs. Whilst previously, all these issues were put down to Covid, now they are attributed to a ‘war’ in Ukraine. If you plan to drive a lot of miles, then fuel consumption and running costs have to be a major consideration in your choice of car.
What about your own lifestyle. If you happen to be a surfer and travel not so light, then you’ll be looking for a car with either boot or roof rack space.
Do you feel the vintage vibe, or are you a modern trendy Wendy or up to the Minute Mike? Very different ends of the car buying spectrum, but of course, everything has its price. When demand outstrips supply, the price goes up several notches, and in this day and age, it’s likely that a retro convertible VW Beetle circa 1970, might be just as costly as a bog-standard, second-hand VW Golf circa 2000+. If only we knew then, what we know now hey? Herbie has a lot to answer for.
Wherever you are on your car buying journey try to make the end result tick as many boxes as you can, but without turning your car choice into something JUST practical. You have to feel good driving it, and want to look after your vehicle and keep it in tip-top condition. Something you will only do if you are 100 percent happy with your choice.