If your teenager has already enrolled in a driver’s education course in anticipation of getting his or her own license, you may be bracing yourself for the bevy of expenses that will soon be coming down the pike. Unless you’re planning to let your teen borrow your family’s current vehicle whenever he or she wants to drive, you’ll likely need to go car shopping. And even once you’ve decided on a suitable car in your price range, you’ll need to take into account the taxes, insurance, and other potential expenses that will need to be paid once ownership is transferred. What can you do to get the best value for your money, and which options should you avoid? Read on to learn more about the factors you should consider when choosing a vehicle for your first-time driver.
Is a vehicle lease a good option for a teen or new driver?
While leases can be the ideal financial and logistical arrangement for professionals who use their vehicles to transport clients, those who frequently travel outside the country for months at a time, or simply those who want to buy a brand-new vehicle every few years without the depreciation hit, they’re not often a good idea for teen drivers.
Not only will your teen be restricted when it comes to the number of miles he or she can put on this vehicle during the lease term, your teen will likely be charged a higher insurance premium or even assessed “gap insurance” — the difference between the amount owed on the lease and what an insurance company would actually pay if the vehicle were involved in an accident. Because teen drivers are already a statistically high-risk group, adding additional layers of insurance can be a costly prospect.
While benefits like an extended warranty and “free” maintenance can be tempting (as can the lower monthly payments often associated with a lease), unless your teen has a special set of circumstances, it’s unlikely leasing is the most economical option.
Should you buy a new or used vehicle for your teen driver?
If you’ve decided that a vehicle purchase is in the cards, your next step will be to decide whether a used or new vehicle makes the most sense.
For those who have already eschewed a lease for financial reasons, buying a new car may carry its own high level of expenses. Even if you choose to purchase an inexpensive base model vehicle rather than a souped-up SUV or luxury sedan, your teen will likely be assessed a much higher insurance rate than you (or another adult with a good driving record) would pay. And unless you’re prepared to shell over the purchase price in cash, your teen will be required to carry “full coverage” insurance (including gap insurance in some cases) until the loan is paid off.
However, while a used car may seem to be (and often is) the financially prudent choice, you’ll still need to do some investigation before making your selection to ensure you don’t inadvertently stick your teen driver with a money pit. If your teen already has a certain brand or model in mind, you may want to investigate the purchase of a certified used vehicle.
These certified vehicles are usually relatively late-model (making it easier to take out an auto loan), and carry an extended warranty following a thorough pre-sale inspection. This can provide your driver with the best of both worlds — the lower purchase price and insurance cost associated with a used vehicle, and the peace of mind of a guaranteed warranty against repair expenses while your teen is still adjusting to the nuances of car ownership.
For more information about getting a car for a new driver, contact a dealership such as Quebedeaux Buick GMC.
There are some great things about the experience of buying a new car, or a new used car. If you’re trading in a car that’s on its last legs, it can be a fun feeling to drive out of the dealership in a new, smooth ride. But the not-so-fun part of the whole experience is settling on a price that fair to you and the dealer. There are few sales experiences that are higher pressure than the sales experience you’ll have at a car dealership. You can end up feeling overwhelmed, and you may even wind up with a car or payment plan that you don’t really want. Take a look at a few tips for wading safely through car purchase negotiations.
Lowering The Payment Doesn’t Lower The Price
When the price of the car that you want is too steep, you and the salesperson should be talking about how low the price of the car can go – not how low your monthly payments can go. Usually, car dealerships have a wide range of payment plans, so they can lower your monthly payment by extending the amount of time you’re paying on the car. This does nothing to lower the overall price of the car, but it can be easy to lose sight of that in a high-pressure sales situation.
If your salesperson is talking about monthly payment plans, redirect the conversation back to the actual cost of the car. Tell them you don’t want to talk about payment plans at all until you’ve settled on a purchase price for the car.
Don’t Be Taken In By “No Haggle” Advertising
Some dealerships claim to take the pressure out of vehicle sales by advertising their prices as “no haggle” pricing. The truth is, any price can be a no haggle price if you’re willing to just pay the sticker price for the car, but that’s not how you get the best deal. It may be less pressure, but only because no salesperson in their right mind would pressure you to pay less than the asking price.
There’s nothing to stop you from making a lower offer than the price on the sticker, even at a no haggle dealership. If you really can’t stand the stress and pressure of negotiating a car price, try shopping from home instead. You can do your negotiating via phone and email, on your own time and without a salesperson standing over your shoulder pressuring you to make a deal right away. Then just have the car delivered to your home after the details have been arranged.
You Always Have A Trump Card
Remember that no matter where you are in the negotiation process, you always have one trump card – you can walk out. Don’t hesitate to do so if you can see that you’re not making any progress. You’re not being rude or wasting the dealer’s time by not agreeing to a deal if they’re not offering a deal that works for you. You are wasting your own time if you continue to haggle when it’s clear that you and the salesperson aren’t getting any closer to an agreement. Just cut your losses and try the next dealership.
On a related note, you also shouldn’t be afraid to take a night to think it over or talk it over with your spouse. No matter what the salesperson says, chances are good that the deal they’re offering you today will still be there tomorrow. The only exception is if the dealership is doing a special sale or promotion. If you decide to take advantage of a limited time sale, try to go to the dealership on the first day of the promotion so that you have time to go home and sleep on it if you want to.
Negotiating may not always be fun, but there’s nothing like the feeling of driving off in your new car knowing that you got a great car and a great price too. Develop a strategy for dealing with high pressure negotiations, and you can have that feeling the next time you go car shopping. \
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When purchasing a used car in a private-party sale, it is especially important to take the vehicle for a test drive. This is the best way to see how the car handles and whether it runs smoothly. During a test drive, however, you don’t want to leave yourself uninsured. Few drivers stop to consider whether they are insured when test-driving a used car, but everyone should take the time to make sure they will be protected while behind the wheel.
Dealerships’ Insurance Policies
When shopping for a car at a dealership like Auto Max, insurance is usually not a concern. Most dealers have commercial auto insurance policies that cover their cars while customers test-drive them. Maintaining insurance coverage during test drives is part of doing business as a dealer, and they treat this as one of their operating expenses.
Individuals selling their cars, however, are not in the business of selling cars. Therefore, they do not maintain the same type of commercial auto insurance. Whether you are insured when test-driving a used car being sold through a private-party sale will depend on your and the seller’s personal auto insurance policy.
The Private Seller’s Insurance Policy
As Esurance explains, car insurance policies typically follow the car, not the driver. Generally, any licensed driver who operates the seller’s car with their permission is insured by the seller’s policy. As long as you are given permission to test-drive their car, you will likely be considered a permissive driver and be insured through their policy.
In a few cases, the seller’s policy may not extend coverage to you, even if you are given permission to take the car for a test drive. For instance, some car insurance policies exclude drivers with DUIs or lots of accidents from being permissive drivers. If the seller’s policy excludes drivers with DUIs and you have a DUI, then you won’t be covered by their insurer when test-driving the car.
Other car insurance policies only insure specifically named drivers. If the seller has a named-driver-only policy and you aren’t on the list of named drivers, then the policy may:
Your Insurance Policy
If the limits of the seller’s policy are lower than yours, then your car insurance may extend some coverage. The limits of the seller’s policy may be lower if you are excluded by their policy, they have a named-driver-only policy or they simply have less coverage.
Most policies don’t extend all coverages, though. According to Car Insurance Comparison, your insurance’s liability, medical payments and uninsured motorist coverage will still apply when you are driving someone else’s car. Comprehensive and collision coverage often do not transfer, however. Thus, even if your insurance policy is protecting you during the test drive, your coverage may be different from what you usually have.
A Seller’s Responsibility
Before test-driving a used car that you are thinking of purchasing in a private-party sale, ask the seller about their insurance policy and read over your own. As long as they have a standard auto insurance policy without any odd exclusions and your policy lets you drive others’ cars, you’ll be all set to go.
If their policy excludes you as a driver, however, don’t be afraid to ask if they will adjust their policy. If they want to sell their car, they should be willing to insure it so that interested parties can test-drive it. Extending coverage to you for a day will only cost them a few dollars.
You likely won’t be in an accident while test-driving a car. If you are, though, you will want adequate insurance coverage. Be sure to ask the seller about their auto insurance policy — and ask them to adjust their policy if it excludes you — before going for a test drive.