Getting on the road for the first time is always going to be an exciting experience. You’ve probably only recently passed your test and you may be beginning to think about purchasing your first set of wheels. But, there is a lot to keep in mind here and that’s what we’re going to look at today. Our aim is going to be to ensure that you are completely ready and prepared for this next chapter in your life with all the information that you could possibly need. So, let’s take a look at some of the big decisions.
Buying Your First Vehicle
The first step is probably going to be getting that first of wheels. Now, there are two options here. You can either buy brand new straight out of the factory. Or, you can opt for a second-hand vehicle. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but the main point is this. A new car is always going to cost more so if you’re on a tight budget, you might be pushed in the other direction. The good news is that by purchasing second hand you can also punch a little higher than your weight. This means that you will be able to get a car with more power or that is a little more aesthetically pleasing. Rather than opting for a 1-liter engine, you can think about a 2 or even a 2.5 when you’re shopping for cars.
However, if you are buying second hand, you do need to make sure that you are taking care of this decision. If you rush in then you could end up with a banger that will cost more in the long term and that’s probably the last thing that you want. There are telltale signs here. For instance, if the pedals have been replaced there’s a strong chance that the car has seen a lot of wear and tear.
It can be worth taking an expert to check the car out for you. If they don’t let you check the car out, then this is a major red flag that there are serious issues with the vehicle.
Will You Crash?
You might feel quite confident behind the wheel of a car which is absolutely fantastic. However, research does suggest that somewhere around two-thirds of new drivers will crash in their first year. The good news is that these often are not serious collisions and may just be little bumps. But it’s worth thinking about why this is. You might immediately assume it’s because the test is too easy. Perhaps people are getting on the road when they’re not really ready. While this is a possibility, it’s probably more to do with some other variables.
For instance, it may be that while there are great drivers, those who have just got behind the wheel struggle with basic checks. For instance, you might forget to check your tire pressure and this is important. If you aren’t watching the pressure on your tires then you could suffer a blowout on the road. This can lead to a devastating collision, particularly if you don’t manage to get the car to the side of the road and that’s not easy to do.
Alternatively, it might simply be that the car you’re driving is a little too powerful. This is why even though you might be able to get a car with a high horsepower it could still be a mistake to do so. It could leave you in a situation where you are left with a car that is difficult to control, even at low speeds and this can be dangerous.
Similarly, you might also want to think about the safety options that you can opt for when selecting your first car. This is a big bonus of buying new. You will be able to access vehicles with all of the latest tech safety features and that could prove to be very useful indeed.
There are certain things that you need to know before you get on the road that they won’t teach you in your driving lessons. You might think that if a police car is telling you to pull over, you need to do so immediately. However, this isn’t the case and it’s not always advised. Instead, you can think about waiting until you reach a point that is populated. This can be the safest option if you are unsure of whether the person waving you over is actually an office of the law. Hijackings can occur where criminals masquerade as police officers and that’s a danger that you need to be aware of.
Similarly, you might also want to consider the issue of fuel economy. Generally, you should not be braking hard when driving. Braking hard uses more fuel and therefore will make your journeys far more expensive than they perhaps need to be. The good news is that you can avoid this by braking lightly instead. If you are constantly braking firmly, then there’s a strong chance it’s because you’re not paying enough attention to hazards on the road.
Knowing When Not To Drive
Finally, it’s true to say that every driver is different. Some drivers just don’t feel comfortable in different road conditions and that’s okay. You need to make sure that you understand your limitations. It’s important for instance, that you don’t drive in a rainstorm if you are unsure of how to regulate your speed for this type of weather condition. It can be worth holding off on a trip until the weather improves and you’d probably be surprised how many people aren’t comfortable driving in conditions like this.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key decisions and choices that you will need to make when you are getting on the road for the first time. Remember, you need to consider more than just whether your car looks cool. It’s important to think about safety too and ensure that you are prepared for the hazards on the road.