As a student, being able to drive yourself around will greatly expand the possibilities and opportunities that come your way in life. It is particularly convenient if you frequently move in and out of campus. This means being able to go home more than a few times a week or consider off-campus jobs or internships that involve longer travel distances. You’ll be able to avoid the unpredictable crowd and schedules of public transportation. It gives you freedom to plan your travel time with flexibility. You can even consider road trips with friends over short weekends.
In the US, you can consider getting a driver’s license at about 16 years old, depending on your state. As a student, getting your driver’s license and your first car will be a big milestone and turning point in life. However, there are many important decisions to make before, and even after, you learn to drive and own a car.
Learning to Drive
The process of learning to drive includes driver education and driver training. Traditionally, driver education refers to attending in-class lessons taught by a driving instructor. Today, there are also online driver education courses which allow one to work on by themselves and at their own pace. Driver education will teach about the knowledge and skills that you need for driving properly and safely. Then, driver training will put learners on the road where they will put what they have learned into practice. This would be your first expense. Remember to choose the type of driving program that would best meet your needs.
Learning to drive is difficult as it requires knowing the theory behind it and being able to put it into practice in real life. As such, while some people pass their very first driving test, there are also those who pass only after multiple attempts. For some, it may be anxiety affecting their performance. For others, it may be the difficulty to maintain coordination as they try to parallel park or change lanes. It is not uncommon to fail. Seek advice from your driving instructor, parents or peers who drive if you need help. Learn from their experience and continue to practice and improve.
Getting a Car
If you have passed your driving test, congratulations! You deserve a pat on the back. The next step would be getting a car for your use. Would you be using the family-owned car, or would you be buying your own car? If you are buying a car, what kind of car would you be getting? If you can drive your family’s car for your own use, you would be able to save a lot of money. If you need to buy your own car, there are many points to consider.
With increased car prices for both new and used cars, you need to properly do your research and decide between different car brands and models. Choose the best option that not only satisfies your needs in a car, but also fits your budget. Consider if you need and can afford certain car features, such as those that concern safety and fuel costs. Similarly, think ahead and make sure that you can manage any future expenses, such as parking costs, gas expenses and car maintenance fees.
While it is hard work comparing car reviews for your purchase, it is worth the effort. You will learn more about cars and at the same time, probably save yourself from future possible headaches. There is also so much accomplishment and involvement when we partake in the process of getting our own car.
Safety on the Road
In 2020, it is estimated that there was an increase of about 7.2 percent in traffic crash fatalities. As we start driving, we must take care to ensure our own safety on the road. Adhere to traffic rules and always wear your seatbelts. Do not use your phones while driving. Do not drive if you had taken medicine that made you drowsy, if you went drinking or if you stayed up late to complete a report. If the body is not physically fit to drive safely, do opt for other means of transport when required.
Another important expenditure is car insurance to ensure that we can drive safe and with confidence. It can help to cover costs incurred from road accidents, car damages and other unexpected losses. This gives us peace of mind knowing that we are protected as we start driving on the roads. This is an important expense that should not be neglected! Nonetheless, never be careless on the roads. Otherwise, this imprudence may cost you not just economically but also cost you your life. It is also good to be up to date about the traffic laws in your area.
Being able to drive and have your own car is exciting as it will give you freedom and increased confidence. For a student, it requires careful planning and hard work – but it’s really worth it. Enjoy your journey!