Should You Buy A Car While You're Learning To Drive?
When you start learning to drive, you’re probably going to be met with a lot of mixed advice. On the one hand, you’ll have people telling you to practice as much as you can outside of your paid lessons, and on the other, some will tell you it doesn’t make much of a difference. The best method for you will depend on how you learn but either option brings up one key question – should you buy your own car before you pass your test? Whether you’re considering Nissan used cars, or you’re still in the midst of looking for your dream first car, we’re taking a look at whether you should even buy one while learning to drive.
Can I Buy A Car If I’m A Learner?
While this can seem like a silly question, it’s actually rather common. When you have a provisional licence, things aren’t always as black and white as when you pass but to answer the question, you can buy a car while you’re a learner. It’ll work in exactly the same way as buying a car after passing, with the only difference being that you won’t be able to take it for a test drive. If you have someone with you that does have a full licence, they will be able to test it for you, giving you the opportunity to see what it’s like inside, how it drives, and if there are any unusual noises, warning lights or red flags you need to see to.
You also can’t drive the car on your own after buying until you pass your test, so you’ll need someone with a full licence to drive the car home either on your behalf, or to be with you in the car when you drive back.
What Are The Benefits?
Buying a car before you pass certainly has it’s benefits, from motivating you to learn to drive, to spending less on lessons overall. Four of the top benefits include:
Learning to drive is frustrating. You can be making amazing progress and then in one single lesson, want to throw in the towel and get the bus for the rest of your life. Owning a car, however, can act as a motivation to get you back behind the wheel and try again when things seem dire.
If you own a car and are learning to drive in it, then you’ll already be familiar with how it works and drives when you do pass. Providing the car is in good enough shape and adheres to DVLA requirements, you can usually take your test in your car too, which will give you the confidence and familiarity to hop in and drive once you pass. You’ll also have the additional bonus of being able to drive yourself home after the test (providing you pass).
Having all the details for your car will give you the chance to do your research into insurance before you pass. You can look into offers and special rates and may be able to take advantage of them when you’re close to passing.
Learning in your own car alongside an instructor’s car will mean you’ll probably pay less for lessons. Most learners will have around 40-60 hours in a car before they pass their test and with the average UK driving lesson costing between £20-25, this is a cost that rapidly adds up. If you have your own car, you can spend an hour driving around with a qualified adult and only have to account for petrol prices and learner’s insurance, which will ultimately work out cheaper in the long term.
What Car Should I Buy?
If you’re going to buy a car before you pass, you can go one of three routes for picking the ideal model:
If you’re a fan of the car your driving instructor has, it could be beneficial to buy this model for yourself. This way, you won’t be learning to drive two different cars at the same time and will be prepared to hop in your own after your test.
Keeping an eye out for any friends or family who might be selling their old car can be a great way to get a decent car at a cut price. Family might be willing to do special deals on their original asking price, and you can usually trust that they’ll tell you about any potential issues or concerns with the car before you buy.
If you don’t want to do either of the above, you could opt for a ‘beginners’ car. These are typically smaller cars with good fuel efficiency that are also cheap to insure. Do your research and see which models are catching your attention before you head out and buy.
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