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What Should My First Car Be

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What’s the Best First Car?

If you have the choice, compare what you would pay for group benefits with what youd pay for Medicare, including any supplemental coverage and prescription drug benefits. If the group coverage is less, then it may make sense to not get Part B and wait until you retire, says Julie Hall , a certified financial planner in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Contact your benefits department before delaying to make sure your employer doesnt require you to enroll in Medicare.


If you have a high-deductible health plan along with a health savings account, or HSA, be aware that you cant save to an HSA once youve enrolled in Medicare. An HSA can be a valuable retirement savings tool, so its worth weighing your options if you have access to employer benefits that allow you to delay Medicare.

I see as a triple tax benefit, says Diane Pearson, a CFP in Wexford, Pennsylvania, about the fact that money can be saved pretax, grow tax-free and be withdrawn pretax to pay for eligible medical expenses.

If youre collecting Social Security, youll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A when you turn 65 if you want to save to an HSA, youll have to delay Social Security benefits. If you plan to enroll in Medicare and you have an HSA, both you and your employer should cease contributions at least six months before you apply for Medicare to prevent tax headaches.


Get Your Credit In Order

Before you start shopping for a car, its important to get your credit in order. Weve written extensively about how to do this, so well direct you to some other resources in a moment.

But, first, lets understand why this is so important. With better credit, youll qualify for better financing. This means that youll get a lower interest rate. And that can save you tons of money over the life of your auto loan.

Lets say youre planning to get a $10,000 car loan. With a score of 630, you can qualify for 7 percent APR at todays rates. With a score of 700, you can qualify for a 4 percent APR. Youll plan on a four-year term.

According to our loan payment calculator, youll pay about $239 per month with the higher APR. With the lower APR, your payments will be $225 per month. Plus, youll pay much less interest over the life of the loan.

As you can see, its worth taking time, if at all possible, to get your credit score in order. Here are some steps you can take to do that:

As youre working on improving your credit score, start socking away as much money as you can for your down payment.

Take Good Care Of Your Vehicle

The best way to ensure that you get the most miles out of your first car is to take good care of it. Consult the cars owners manual to find out when you should plan to perform regular maintenance on the car.

Then, find a mechanic you like to work with for your repairs. Its helpful to work with a local mechanic who knows your car and its history. And when you find someone you trust, you can lean on them for advice on when to perform major regular maintenance, like replacing timing belts and other things that will help your car last as long as possible.

Again, once you buy your car, you should be budgeting every single month for maintenance costs. Even if youre buying new, the cost of tires, oil changes, brake pad changes, and other regular items can total up really quickly!

Other than this, enjoy owning your new car!

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What Is A Warranty

A warranty is a car manufacturers promise that theyll fix certain parts of the car if they go wrong in the first few years. It covers the bits that shouldnt wear out, rather than things like tyres and clutch plates that owners should expect to replace every now and again.

Most cars come with a three-year warranty, so if you buy a two-year-old car youll still be covered by the warranty for another year. Some manufacturers give much more than that – Hyundai has a five-year warranty on all its models, while Kia and SsangYong offer seven. That means that if you buy a two-year-old Kia, youll still have five years warranty cover left.

Even if the car you buy from Cazoo is outside its manufacturers warranty, well still provide 90 days of cover for your peace of mind.If youll be using your car for hire and reward , were unable to include the 90-day warranty.

There are lots of used cars to choose from at Cazoo. Simply use the search function to find one you love then buy or finance it online. You can choose to have it delivered to your door, or you can collect it from your nearest Cazoo Customer Centre.

If you buy a petrol or diesel car from us, don’t forget to add a CazooPlan Service Plan. This lets you pay for the next two or three years of servicing at once and protects you from future price rises. You’ll also get a free annual MOT test.

Maybe Get A Truck Or Suv

Which of these should I buy as my first car?

If you want something super safe, consider getting a truck or an SUV. Because of the added weight, height, and visibility, these two options are a lot safer than a compact car or sedan.

If you are torn between a truck or SUV, read my guide to clear things up.

Chevrolet Silverado 2004

My first vehicle was an old GMC Sierra a truck. Learning how to drive in a bigger vehicle makes it a lot easier to drive a smaller car in the future. You will appreciate the smaller size and maneuverability of a car down the road.

Still, I have plenty of friends that are lifelong SUV or truck guys. Everyone has their preference, and every vehicle has a lot of pros and cons that go along with it.

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Determine How Much You Can Afford

The key to a successful buy is to first determine how much you can afford. Your credit score, monthly income and the type of car you want should all factor into this decision. The key is to strike a balance between fitting your budget and finding a car right for your needs.

When budgeting, look at the out-the-door price, not just the sticker price that you see advertised. The true out-the-door price is the entire cost that you will be expected to pay, including dealer fees and taxes. Once you have that number or a suitable estimate factor in your typical salary and take advantage of a car loan calculator, which will help you determine what the monthly cost to finance the vehicle will be.

Do Your Online Research And Compare Cars And Dealer Prices Online

Nelson of Savvy Girl Money also recommends that you hop on your computer and start looking at cars to compare prices at the different dealers near you.

“Sometimes the cost of the car depends on the location,” said Nelson. “For example, maybe in Akron, Ohio, I can get a more affordable one than I’ve tried to purchase in Cleveland. That’s why it’s important to do your research to get an idea of different areas where the car might be more affordable.”

“Researching is probably one of the most important steps of the process,” Cannata said. “Since I wanted to trade in my old car, it was important that I knew what it was worth so that I would know how much I would have towards my new car.”

There are a lot of different sites for buying a car and researching prices including CarMax, Carvana, Vroom, Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds.

So once you’ve made your way through the initial financial planning steps, it’s time to start shopping. At this stage, ask yourself these four questions:

1. What size car do I want?

As always, planning is of the essence. It is important to have somewhat of an idea of the type of car you are looking for.

“The first thing I always tell people when they ask me for advice is to think about what size car you want,” said Grant Feek, CEO of the online car marketplace TRED. “I really encourage people to know if they want a compact car, standard SUV, full-size SUV know the size you want. I would start there.”

2. Do I want to buy new or used?

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Think About Your Budget And Financing

Take a realistic look at your finances, too. That includes not just the purchase price but budgeting for use and care of your future car, including maintenance, insurance, gas, repairs and parking. Learn more about the true cost of owning a car.

A down payment is not typically required for your loan, but making one is usually a good idea: You wont have to borrow as much, and your monthly payment will be lower. Use Bank of Americas auto loan calculator to see how a down payment can affect your monthly car loan payment.

Choosing A Good First Car

This is why your first car should be a MOTORCYCLE

If you talk to anyone who has been driving for some time, they no doubt have fond memories of their first car. One’s first car is significant because it embodies the freedom of the open road.

When it comes to picking out a first car, reliability, safety, and price are the top considerations. Though budget for a first car depends on one’s income and life stage, $5,000 to $15,000 is a good range for the average person’s first car.

This price range will typically eliminate junker vehicles that have severe mechanical issues, and the range is wide enough to include a wide variety of quality vehicles.

And on that note, there are a few vehicles that have earned a tried-and-true reputation as fantastic first cars for new drivers.

But before we get into the details of each vehicle, it’s worth noting a few things:

  • This list focuses solely on used vehicles, as the majority of first-time drivers are in the market for a used vehicle .
  • The average costs listed are based on the private party value of 2014 model year vehicles that are in good condition with middle-of-the-road trim levels, standard equipment, and 70,000 miles. Keep in mind that the costs listed are simply averages depending on the variables mentioned above, the actual cost might be different. What’s more, at the time of this writing, the car prices are at an all-time high, and this is reflected in the value assessment of each vehicle listed.
  • The values presented are derived from Kelley Blue Book.
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    A Keychain Car Escape Tool To Cut Through Seat Belts And Break Car Windows That You’ll Be Happy To Have But Even Happier To Never Have To Use

    Promising review: “I work in the Medical and Rescue field and have to say this is a great product to have on your keychain. One of the concerns I had when buying this was the breakaway portion of the device itself but that was an unfounded fear. This is something that will save your life if you are ever trapped in your own vehicle as it will stay connected to your keys in the ignition which means that you will be able to reach it without a major issue. It will not easily detach without you pulling it off which means will be available where you want it when you need it. I have nothing negative to say about this and have bought one for my wife as well to have.” Aizrec!

    Get it from Amazon for $10.44.

    Title And Register Your Car

    Once you own the car, you will need to get a vehicle title in your name, register it, and get the tags in order to legally drive it. This applies even if the dealership gives you temporary tags. In some states, the dealership will file an application for the title and registration and supply the plates, and you will receive them.

    If not, or you buy a used car or buy from a private seller, you will need to apply for a title and registration at a local government office, which could be the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Secretary of State, or the county tax office depending on where you live. You may need to accompany a private seller to the office to complete the title transfer.

    Another thing to keep in mind: You will not be allowed to register your car until you have found and purchased car insurance. You will need to take proof of insurance with you to the government office.

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    Stay Focused In The Finance Department

    Buying our first new car was a smooth experience until the finance department started offering us extras that threatened to hike up the price.

    It can feel like youre sitting in the finance office forever, your head spinning with numbers, until you dont know what youre saying yes to. Hold firm! You dont have to give a yes immediately, so ask for time to think things through if you need to.

    Perhaps better yet, line up financing beforehand at your local credit union, which likely has the lowest rates around. That was certainly our experience. All we had to do was become a member and open a savings account with a nominal balance.

    Give The Kid The New Car

    What should be my first car.

    Ezra Dyer, Senior Editor

    The other day I was driving a Nissan Kicks and found myself thinking, “This would be a great car for my 17-year-old niece.” As in: not fast, has a good sound system and a ton of safety gearblind-spot warning, rear automatic braking, lane-departure warning, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection. And then I thought, “Who does she think she is with this new car? Nobody I knew in high school had a new car. I didn’t buy a new car until I was 30. She doesn’t deserve this car.” And that’s true. It’s also the wrong way to think about this question.

    I’ve been to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety and watched a crash test. I’ve seen their gallery of structural fails. The data doesn’t lie: cars generally get safer from year to year. Structures improve, with new metallurgy and more sophisticated load paths. Electronics evolve, with ever cheaper cameras and radar turning unblinking eyes to the road ahead . There are even those narc-y apps, like GM’s Teen Driver, that let you set limits on stereo volume and top speed. You’re not going to get that in the ’07 Malibu Maxx that young Parker bought with the lawn-mowing money.

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    How Do I Know How Much A Car Will Cost To Run

    In addition to insurance, youll have to tax, service and fuel your car. How much these cost will depend primarily on the car itself, but also the way you use it.

    Car tax is based on how much pollution your type of car releases. Zero-emission cars, including electric models like the Nissan Leaf, are free to tax, while cars with a normal engine will cost around £150 a year. If your car cost more than £40,000 when it was new, you may have to pay additional annual tax – though thats unlikely to apply to most first-time buyers.Expect to spend about another £150 on a full service for a small car and around £250 for a larger model. Some manufacturers offer pre-paid servicing packages that make this cheaper. You should have your car serviced after every 12,000 miles of driving, though this can vary – check with the car manufacturer how often it should be.The amount of fuel you use will depend a lot on how much you drive and the way you drive. The further you travel, the more petrol or diesel your car will consume. How much fuel a car uses is described as fuel economy and is measured in miles per gallon, or mpg – which can be confusing, as most liquid fuel in the UK is sold in litres. A gallon of petrol or diesel costs around £5.50 at the moment, so you can calculate the costs based on that.

    Tips For Buying Your First Vehicle

    For many teens, earning a drivers license is an excitingmoment. Now that you have your license, its time to start shopping for yourfirst car. As to be expected, most young adults looking to purchase a vehicledont know the best methods to approach. Here are five things you should knowwhen shopping for your first car.

  • Know Your Budget
  • Before you visit a dealership, decide your price range. Whats the maximum amount you are willing to spend? Is it $5,000? Is it $10,000? Are you planning on taking out a loan or purchasing outright? If you plan to loan, calculate how much you can afford to pay every month.
  • Research What Kind of Car You Want
  • Every new car buyer should understand what kind of car you want. For example, there are big differences between driving a sedan and a truck. Its a good idea to take some time to research different vehicles to get an idea of what you are looking for. Most first time buyers purchase a sedan as these cars are the most affordable and first-time buyers usually only need a reliable commute.
  • Take the Vehicle Out for a Test Drive
  • Cars are expensive and repairs are costly. If you find a car you are interested in, inspect the interior and exterior for damage or areas of concern. Next, take the vehicle out for a test drive. Listen for anything that sounds off and play around with the features like the air conditioning and radio. Its better to say no to an offer than to pay for costly repairs later.
  • Consider Cosigning
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