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What first-time buyers need to know before getting a car

teenager driving a car

By Alisdair Valente

Expensive maintenance is one of the reasons that drivers below the age of 25 don’t purchase a car.

RACQ reports via a community survey that almost one-third of novice drivers delay buying a vehicle for themselves even though they already have a license.

Club spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said getting a licence and buying a car used to be a rite of passage, but is now becoming less important to drivers under 25.

“It costs around $200 per week to own and run a new mid-sized car, for example; which is why novice drivers opt to purchase cheaper second-hand cars or not to purchase at all,” Ms Ritchie said.

“We know cars are more expensive now than in previous years and can be a real barrier for young drivers to make the investment,” Ms Ritchie said.

RACQ compiled statistics of first-time car buyers in 2019 to 2020 that a 38.5% increase in delaying purchasing a car has occurred, particularly for new drivers under 25.

“Last year, there was a noticeable shift towards purchasing SUVs and utility vehicles, which reflects what we saw nation-wide, where half of all new cars purchased in Australia were SUVs,” Ms Ritchie said.

The RACQ survey also found those who did buy the first car spent an average of $7,358 on vehicles roughly 13.5 years old.

Ms Ritchie urges first-time drivers always to aim to buy the safest car they could afford.

“The risk of a novice driver being involved in a serious crash is about twice that of an experienced driver, so it is important to choose a car that offers a high level of protection,” Ms Ritchie said.

To know what to look for in buying second-hand cars, as well as other helpful tips, please visit the RACQ website here.

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