In The Driver’s Seat – MoneySmart Rookie

– Nice car.
– Thanks. – How did you afford it?
– I took out a loan. It looks really awesome. Thanks. You gonna take me home? Oh. All my pay goes on the repayments,
so I can’t afford petrol. So we’re riding again? Yeah. Need a car? One you can afford? So, now you’ve got your licence
and you’re revving to go. But do you really know how to avoid
all those rookie errors that come with buying
and running a car? I had a Holden Barina ’94.
It was brilliant. I loved having a car.
That, for me, was freedom. ’87 Magna. Mitsubishi Magna. Called her Old Faithful
’cause she was old and faithful. For some people, a car is
just about getting from A to B. For others, it can be a serious
statement about themselves. I guess your car says
a lot about you. I think my car is quite practical. Uh, it can go anywhere. It’s flexible. I reckon it just says that I’m someone
who just needs to get somewhere. (TYRES SCREECH) (HONKS HORN) (TRUCK HORN BLARES) (TYRES SCREECH) (GLASS SHATTERS) Having your own car
does come with responsibilities. It’s probably one of the first big
purchases you make, so you want to make sure
you get it right, because as Peter found, there are
many potential rookie errors. I used to drive this old
bomb by uncle gave me but it died a week before I started
my apprenticeship. There weren’t any trains
or buses in my area, and way too many hills
for a pushbike. And I wanted a nice car. I told myself,
“I work hard and I deserve it.” I thought that a nice car would
make me feel good about myself and that when people saw it,
they would think I’d made it. In reality, I was an apprentice struggling to pay off
a car I couldn’t afford. So why would I want to impress
people I didn’t even know? All up I borrowed $25,000 but over the term of the loan,
with interest, I’ll end up paying close to $50,000. If you’re like Peter
and don’t have the cash up front, you can get a car loan. But only borrow what you can afford. If you buy a car from a car yard, the car dealer can arrange
a loan for you. Interest rates can vary
a lot between different places, so do your homework first. You can always check out
the MoneySmart website, and use one of their calculators to work out exactly
what you’ll be paying back. You don’t have to get the loan
through the car dealer, and it’s often cheaper to get
a loan from a bank or a credit union. Interest rates and related fees
and charges for personal loans can vary a lot, so shop around. If I stick to the repayment plan, it’ll take me 10 years
to pay off a car that I can’t even sell now
for $10,000. And then there’s the insurance. I discovered that
if a car is financed, the insurance has to be
fully comprehensive. So here I was at 23, driving
a brand-new fully optioned ute… ..but the insurance was costing me
nearly 2 grand a year. When you’re choosing car insurance, it’s important to understand the
different types of policies available and know what sort of cover
you want. Always take the time
to read the policy, and get help to understand
what’s covered and what isn’t. The costs in getting a car are more
than you’d expect because… Yeah, so, there’s the registration,
then there’s… You’ve got to fuel it all the time. You’re always constantly
watching fuel prices. And then if you want a car that’s
going to last a long time, you’ve always got to get it serviced. So it all adds up. On top of my car loan,
I took out a $5,000 personal loan and maxed out all my credit cards. I was paying close to… ..$800 a month on repayments, which was a big chunk
of my income, especially since I’d just moved out
and was paying rent. Things got pretty desperate,
so I spoke to a financial counsellor who helped me with
the repayment plan. The service was free,
which was really good. But it’s still going to take
a long time for me to fix up my credit history. If you don’t repay the loan,
your car can be repossessed and sold for less
than what you owe on it. Then you end up owing and paying
money on a car you no longer have. If you’re having trouble
paying back the loan, it’s important that you talk to
your lender as soon as possible to work something out. Or contact a free financial
counsellor. The longer you leave it, the harder it will be to get
back on top of your finances. If I could do it all again, well… I guess I wouldn’t buy the most
expensive car I could find. I mean, I love the freedom having
a car gives you, but I just didn’t realise how
much it could cost. And don’t forget those other costs
with running a car. You’ll need money for petrol,
insurance, rego, service and repairs, and even parking,
which can get pricy. It’s estimated that running a car can
cost around $7,000 per year. A good idea is to set aside
a car allowance every month. (ENGINE RUMBLES) (CROWD ROARS) Once you’ve
got your finances sorted, your dream wheels can
become a reality. And don’t forget to
fasten your seatbelt! You can find lots of good
info on paying for a car by searching for
MoneySmart Rookie.

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