The Arizona Teen Car Buyer Guide
As you approach 15, you might start getting excited about earning your learner’s permit, followed up by your full license the next year. That will lead to thoughts of getting your very first car — a car you will remember forever because it was your first.
Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have their parents buy them a brand new car when they get a driver’s license. In fact, few are. Instead, you’ll have to start thinking about buying your own car.
Beyond the price of the car itself, you’ll have to think about the overall cost of car ownership, which includes finding a trustworthy Arizona mechanic for car maintenance and professional Arizona car repair. Here’s everything you need to think about for buying a new car in Arizona:
Before you can think about buying a car, you need to know how much you can afford to spend. The first place to start is with a budget.
Write down how much money you expect to make each month after taxes and other deductions. If you work a side job like babysitting or lawn mowing, list what you have made for the last year (or as far back as you can if not a year) and create a monthly average.
Make a list of any expenses you currently have. Include items like going out with friends or buying clothes. The difference between what you make and what you spend is how much extra you have to put toward a car.
If you want to buy a car outright, calculate how long it will take you to save based on your surplus income. If you want to finance a car, use your surplus to determine how much you can afford for a payment. Be sure to take out the monthly cost of insurance, gas, and expected car maintenance. Leave a little extra for savings in case of unexpected car repair.
You may find it difficult to finance a car as a teenager since you do not have a long credit history (and more likely have no credit history at all). You can improve your likelihood of getting financing by coming up with a strong down payment (20 percent or more) or by shopping at buy here pay here dealership, which extends financing to those with no credit.
Your best option is to convince your parents or another adult to serve as a co-signor for your loan. The person would be responsible for your loan if you fail to pay.
As a teenager, you are going to pay much more for car insurance. In Arizona, you have to show proof of insurance to get your driver’s license, and you have to have bodily injury and property damage coverage. You must have bodily injury coverage of $15,000 per person and $30,000 total per accident, and you must have property damage coverage of $10,000 per accident. This insurance covers damages caused when you are in an accident that is determined to be your fault.
Your insurance rates will go up if you drive an expensive vehicle with a powerful engine, or if you get any driving violations. You can bring your rates down by getting on your parents’ policy (if they let you), taking a driver’s education course, and maintaining good grades.
Locating a reputable Scottsdale Mechanic to perform your car maintenance can be a major expense, but it’s not one for which many people budget. You’ll need ongoing maintenance like oil changes, alignments, brake checks and tire rotations. You’ll also need to budget for unexpected car repair.
Working with a great mechanic will help you bring down your expenses in that category. The right mechanic will help you bring down repair costs by developing the right maintenance schedule and doing great work. You might also earn discounts by being a loyal customer.
Scottsdale Muffler and Automotive is a reputable mechanic in Arizona providing reliable Tempe car maintenance and car repair services. We are happy to work with teens to help them take the best care of their first cars so that they last into the college years and beyond. We can also provide teens with the right education to take care of their cars through healthy driving and maintenance habits.
Scottsdale Muffler & Automotive
1710 E Curry Rd
Tempe, AZ 85281
Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.