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Should You Buy A Car Before Getting Your License?

For most people, learning to drive is one of the most important milestones in a young person’s life.

In many cities, you can’t get around without a vehicle, so getting a driver’s license offers a new sense of freedom and mobility. 

The question becomes when you should get a vehicle before passing your driver’s test. 

It’s not uncommon for people to buy a car before getting their driver’s license. Having a vehicle already is a good motivator to practice, which can help make passing the road test easier. If you buy a car before you pass your road test, remember that you’ll also have to register and insure it before you can drive it.

Just be sure to confirm any local and state laws with your DMV before purchasing a motor vehicle without a driver’s license. 

Purchasing a Car Before Your Driving Test

A car dealer giving the car key to a man in a suit.

It isn’t a bad idea to go ahead and purchase a vehicle before you take your driving test. Most of the time, you’ll have a learner’s permit well before you get your full license. 

As long as you have a fully licensed adult with you, buying a car is a great way to motivate yourself to practice driving before your road test.

In many places, you can even take your road test in your own vehicle, which can give you extra confidence. 

Having that motivation and testing in your own car are the major advantages of buying a car before getting your driver’s license, but there are some things you need to keep in mind. 

Firstly, you need to make sure you buy the right car. 

New vehicles can be expensive, and buying a used vehicle can be risky. Teens just getting their licenses may be at a disadvantage since the cars in their price range may not be reliable. 

Make sure you only buy vehicles that have been well maintained and can pass an inspection.

Secondly, regardless of whether you have your license, if you want to drive your vehicle, it has to be registered and insured. 

Many people find out too late that they can’t afford car insurance, meaning they can’t drive their cars even after getting their license. 

Check insurance prices before purchasing your car. 

You may need to give a ‘pass date’ to get a quote for your insurance. When comparing prices, you can invent this date, but if you are required to have your license before purchasing, don’t lie.

Insurance rates will also vary depending on the type of vehicle you want. 

Some eco-friendly cars will have lower rates than other vehicles. Usually, cheaper cars also come with lower insurance prices but may not be as reliable. 

Thirdly, dealerships may not be willing to sell you a car if you don’t have a driver’s license. It can make buying new vehicles more difficult if you don’t have someone to sign for you.

You’ll also need a fully licensed person to come with you, especially if you want to test drive the vehicle. 

Most dealerships will recommend you have your full license before buying a car. It doesn’t make buying a car with a learner’s license impossible, though.

You can purchase a car from a small used car lot or directly from another person. Just be sure to have the vehicle inspected before buying it. 

Should I Be Worried About My Driving Test?

Taking (and hopefully passing) your driving test is a big deal, and it’s totally normal to be nervous leading up to and during the test. 

Usually, the examiner will strike up a conversation with you during the test. Don’t worry – this isn’t trickery or meant to be a distraction – they’re just trying to put you at ease. 

Frankly, most driving tests aren’t difficult, especially if you’ve taken lessons from a professional instructor or practiced a lot with someone you trust. 

You’ll probably make mistakes, but if you’re generally a good driver so far, you should have all the skills you need for the test. 

Try to approach your road test with confidence. Worst case, you can always retake the test later. 

Make sure you know the date and time of your test and plan on getting there early so you don’t risk being late (or missing it). 

Be organized and have all your required documents ready to go. They might need your birth certificate, passport, learner’s permit, or others. 

Make sure to get plenty of sleep, use the bathroom, and eat before taking your test

Remember, they won’t ask you to do anything too difficult. Your driving test will cover the driving skills and road safety expected of a new driver. 

You should also have access to a handbook that tells you everything you need to know about driving in your area. Take the time and study it. 

In the end, just don’t overdo it. The more you worry, the more nervous you’ll be and the more mistakes you’ll make. 

The best thing to do is take a deep breath and try to relax. If you’ve practiced, studied the handbook, and are confident, you’ll probably do just fine.


It doesn’t hurt to buy a car before getting your driver’s license. It can be a good motivator, gives you opportunities to practice, and you can usually take your road test in your own car, which can help you feel relaxed and confident.

As long as you can afford the cost of the vehicle, insurance, and registration, it’s fine to go ahead and buy a car before passing your test.

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