A Car Guide for Young Drivers: How to Pick Your First Vehicle

By: Miller Hughes Ford Cornwall   |   30 Mar 2023

For young drivers, the feeling of finally passing your driving test and earning your license is one of the few memorable experiences in life. The next is when you can finally stop using mom and dad’s car and cruise about in one that’s all yours! Still, buying your first vehicle as a young driver can feel a little overwhelming. From financing options and credit checks to find the right vehicle that suits your lifestyle, it can be a lot to take in. Thankfully, Cornwall Ford is here to help! This complete car buying guide will help you get approved, get a low-interest rate, get the best deal and ultimately simplify your first-time buying experience!

Step 1: Determine Your Needs

If you’re a young driver, chances are you’re looking for a reliable vehicle for your daily commute to school and work. And while most vehicles come with lots of cool, modern features, it’s important to get a clear sense of what's most important to you according to your lifestyle. Do you live in a region where you could benefit from AWD? Is your commute to campus more than an hour away, and you’re looking to save costs on fuel? Getting clear on your basic non-negotiables when it comes to your car’s features and specs will save you from needing to buy another in the near future. From there, you can think of some nice-to-haves, like infotainment or exterior design.

Step 2: Determine Your Budget

Once you’ve gotten clear on what you need in a vehicle, it’s time to determine your budget. If you plan on going the financing route, it’s important to find a payment plan that sits within your means. A good rule of thumb is to ensure your monthly car payments do not exceed 10 to 15% of your monthly income. Here at Cornwall Ford, we have a team of knowledgeable and helpful financial advisors who can help you find a flexible financing option, especially if your credit is limited as a young driver. Be sure to also factor in the ongoing costs of owning a vehicle, like gas, maintenance, and insurance. (More on that later!)

Step 3: Shop Used or Pre-Owned?

Depending on your budget, you might be inclined to beeline straight for a brand-new model, especially if you’re keen on having the latest tech and safety features. But truthfully, most vehicles (Fords especially) within the last 5 years have almost all the same modern features and functionalities as their current models. Compared with previous generations, cars these days are built to last, which makes the used car market a smart place for frugal shoppers to browse. Here at Cornwall Ford, we ensure all of our pre-owned vehicles are Ford Certified, meaning they must pass a meticulous inspection in order to meet our highest standards.

Step 4: Auto Insurance

Young drivers, inexperienced drivers, and recent immigrants can all fall under the broad definition of a first-time driver in Canada. Whatever your circumstances, it is important to have the right car insurance policy so that you are always protected when you are behind the wheel. Be sure to only pay for the coverage you need. Some coverage is required under Canadian law, such as liability and comprehensive. But you may want to consider dropping something like collision coverage if your vehicle has a low resale value. You can also consider combining it with your current coverage. For example, if you already have renter’s insurance, you might be able to merge it with auto insurance to get a better deal. 

Ready to get behind the wheel of your first vehicle? Browse our inventory of new and used Ford vehicles today, and give us a call at Miller Hughes Ford to learn more! Our team will be happy to walk you through the entire vehicle buying process to ensure your first experience is as seamless as possible!



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