I wouldn’t consider myself in the position to give anyone advice on cars or driving just yet, although I would like to share some things I have personally learned from this experience.
Six months ago today; the 22nd of September, I received my driver’s license. Two weeks later I bought a Volkswagen. It all became a journey from there. Being a new driver and car owner came with its own challenges, some of them being:
1. Trying to find a parking spot.
This might not be the case for you, but if you are looking to buy a car in the near future, then this is something you must keep in mind. Struggling to find parking spaces can be extremely challenging and frustrating. If you are a begginer driver I recommend you buy a smaller vehicle, length wise, to make it easier to park.
2. Put money aside for gas (especially if you’re on a salary payment)
Keep in mind that depending on the vehicle you might need to refuel every once a week, also depending on how much you drive around with it. Money might become an issue.
3. Gas ain’t cheap…everywhere
If you don’t live in Europe, good for you. If gas prices are low in your country, also good for you. Keep in count though, that a car will also need to eat.
4. Every once if a few weeks (the most) car needs to be washed.
As well as humans, as funny as this might sound, cars also need a clean up. If you’re more of an economist, you’ll probably pick up a vacuum cleaner, a bucket of water and a sponge and do it yourself. If you can never be bothered to wash it yourself, take it to a car wash, but remember, every once in a while it will be necessary to give it a wash.
5. Cars brake down.
As much as we hate to admit it, every car at some point brakes down. You either start facing difficulties when starting the engine on, wipers stop working, lights stop working, you get flat tires or broken windows. Find a nice reliable auto service and be prepared for any technical difficulties. Two of my family members recently bought two cars, a Mercedes Benz and a Audi A4, both cars have seen auto service and are barely driven around.
6. If you’re a begginer driver I reccomended you have someone next to you when you drive, at least for the first 6 months.
This was something I hated to admit, but often times a person on my right, whether they owned licensed or not have saved me from certain mistakes, being my second pair of eyes and noticing things I wasn’t because I wasn’t paying enough attention.
7. Know how much your car can handle.
It is important to know in advance the power of your car and no matter how tempting it might be, DO NOT go above the speed limit. Why? Because being a learner driver means you’re not used to driving, or your car or have instant reflexes. Always keep your car on a speed you can control it from in case of anything the road may bring your way such as a running child, a deer or the car in front of you braking unexpectedly. Also it is very important to know the power of your car and when it is safe to pass a car or not, if your car lacks horse power and you are not certain on whether you should pass a car or not, choose not to. Safety is number one priority.
Golden advice: if in a rush, leave early, so that you won’t need to step on the gas like you intend to kill a spider.
What 6 months have taught me, basically, is that driving is not a walk in the park at first. Takes practice, patience and time. You do not master driving after achieving your license, to master driving you need to learn on your own, make mistakes and grow in time.
I reccomended you try out different cars every once in a while, just to get a look of how other cars feel instead of only driving your own. Also, I recommend you challenge yourself sometimes. Try new routes, make a short weekend adventure, drive to various destinations at a time and when you’re ready …play some music.