Learning to drive a car for the first time is a lot of work. If you’re just starting out and you’re considering your vehicle options keep reading because we’re sharing our top tips for inexperienced drivers and what to look for when buying your first car, we’re also sharing our top considerations and tell you what you need to be thinking of and aware of when choosing the right car for you.
New or Used?
One of your top considerations when buying any car, whether you’re a learner driver or someone with years of driving under their belt, will be whether to buy a new or used car. New cars while generally considered more reliable than used cars come with a hefty price tag, one that most learner drivers won’t be able to afford. New cars also depreciate dramatically as soon as they’ve left the dealers so I always recommend purchasing a used car for learner drivers. If you have your heart set on a specific new model, then simply purchase that model used. Even a car that’s only a few months old will cost you far less than the same model at the dealers.
Automatic or Manual?
Everyone used to have to learn how to drive in a manual car but these days with most new cars on the market coming as automatics you can choose whether to purchase an auto or manual car. This will also affect what kind of license you’ll end up with. In many places once you have your full driver’s license, you’ll be covered for both manual and automatic cars, however it’s becoming more and more common even after receiving your full license to only be covered for automatic cars if you took all your learners tests in an automatic vehicle. This can be both a good and bad thing depending on your circumstances.
On the one hand, automatic vehicles are easier to learn in, there’s less to learn and do but down the track you’ll likely need to learn and take your test again if you later choose a manual vehicle. For those who want their manual license, while it may be a little more work to get it, you will have more choice when purchasing a new car and you’ll have the knowledge and skills to handle automatic as well as manual vehicles.
When buying a new car to learn to drive in, besides the obvious things to look for in a car, like its service history, age, kilometres, etc. one of the most important things to consider is its comfort levels. Learning to drive is tough so you’ll need a vehicle that’s comfortable for you. Don’t just factor in looks when purchasing a new car. Make sure you sit in any potential buys and really sum up how comfortable you are in it. You’ll likely be going for a lot of long drives and spending countless hours in your new car so you’ll need something that’s easy to drive in for long periods of time, not just quick 5 minute inner-city trips, even if that’s how you expect you’ll be using your vehicle when you have got your full license.