What tips to consider for new drivers and college students

What tips to consider for new drivers and college students

In order to benefit from our new driver tips, you need some wheels to get around in, so let’s start with a quick guide to budgeting for and buying your first vehicle.

  1. Payment plans that make buying a car as a recent grad easy
  2. Budget
  3. Safety
  4. Payment plans that make buying a car as a recent grad easy

Unless you’re paying in cold hard cash, chances are you’ll be taking out a car loan to finance your purchase. This might sound daunting, as buying a car is probably the most expensive thing you have ever purchased at this point in your life if you’re a recent grad.

It’s exhilarating (or relieving depending on your perspective!) to think about graduating from high school and heading off to college. It’s exciting to think about driving from your apartment to campus or exploring restaurants and concert venues in your new city. However, there are minor details that can make a major difference in your financial health.

Besides cash, taking out a loan is another way to purchase a car. However, most grads don’t have a credit history. Establishing your credit is another route, but it takes at least six months and by then you’re already attending class!

The first step is to set up a budget for yourself at college so you know how much you can afford to spend on a car. Car payments and car-related expenses generally shouldn’t exceed 20 percent of your income.

The newest trend in automotive financing is car loans made over 73 to 84 months (6 to 7 years). This means you’ll pay more interest over the life of the loan. Opt for a shorter loan length if possible.

Now that you’ve created a general budget for your over-all living costs, create a car budget. Cars aren’t simply the cost of the car. There’s also maintenance, insurance, registration, fees, taxes, and fuel costs to consider.

We’ve provided an outline with estimated costs taken from AAA, but the amount of money you will need depends on the fuel efficiency, commute, car model, and insurance company.

This makes taking out a loan difficult without a co-signer

Routine car maintenance, such as changing the oil and rotating the tires, costs about 4 cents per mile driven, about $622 per year based on 15,000 miles.

The AAA estimates car insurance for a married 47-year-old male with a good driving record, driving a small sedan, living in a small city, commuting 3-10 miles/day to work, with a policy that includes injury liability limits of $100,000/$300,000 and comprehensive and collision coverage with a $100 and $500 deductible respectively is $981. However, new drivers can easily be required to pay double this amount or more to insure a vehicle.

AAA estimates the annual payment of state taxes, fees, and any required emissions testing for a small sedan is $480/year ($40/month). Talk to your local DMV or county clerk’s office for more information.

The more fuel efficient your ride, the more you will save in gas money. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a vehicle that gets 30 MPG will save you $638 in gasoline per year than one that gets 20 MPG, based on 15,000 miles of annual driving with gas at $2.55/gallon. Over five years, that’s a $3,188 savings! Try ‘s savings calculator for more information on how much you can potentially save.

New driver tip: Some auto insurance companies do offer discounts for students with high GPAs. So, crack open those books!

Insurance is costly and varies depending on your insurance company, type of policy, your insurance history, the make and model of your vehicle, your credit score, your marital status, and your age

Not to be a downer, but the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 20 is motor vehicle accidents. That’s why is so important to be vigilant when it comes to driving safely.

While being on the road might sound like an adventure straight out of a Jack Kerouac novel, the reality is that driving is dangerous. Cars are big pieces of machinery and it’s payday loans Nevada laws easy to make mistakes. However, these 25 new driver tips will help you to drive as safely as possible.

  1. Drive defensively.
  2. Obey speed limits so you have time to stop or react.
  3. Allow enough space between yourself and the driver ahead of you.
  4. Wear your seat belt.
  5. Clean your windshield to maintain visibility.

Thelen Auto Group wishes for safe and happy driving for all new drivers and welcomes you to visit our lot and test drive one of our many economy models today. Whether you’re a newly licensed driver or a recent grad preparing for college, we have a vehicle that will serve you well through your early adult years.

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