home d.tech life What to Know about Getting Your First Car

What to Know about Getting Your First Car

By Evan Tung

Photo of Nic Garland’s car. Courtesy of Garland

The founding class of Design Tech High School has finally reached the legal driving age. This means that many students will be looking for a first car. With little experience in the car buying market, it’s helpful to learn about other people’s experiences. Below, are some d.tech students’ experiences in buying, leasing, borrowing, and crashing, their first cars.

Q: What is/was your first car?

Max Otake: 1990 Toyota Camry; dark red

Ashley Phan: 2002 Acura TL; dark blue

Nic Garland: 2006 Mustang; black and red [pictured above].

Alyssa Gozum: 2001 Volkswagen Pizzaz

Aitana Abouata: 2017 Volkswagen Jetta


Q: When did you get your driver’s license and car?

Max Otake: Driver’s license: April 20, 2016. Car: One month after getting my license.

Ashley Phan:  Driver’s license: January 5, 2017. Car: My dad bought it in 2002.

Nic Garland: Driver’s license: December 8, 2016. Car: I had my car about 3 months before I got my driver’s license.

Alyssa Gozum: Driver’s license: October 2016. Car: I had my car about 3 months before I got my driver’s license.

Aitana Abouata: Driver’s license: July 2016. Car: I had my car about 3 months before I got my driver’s license.


Q: Who paid for your car, or was it already owned by your family?

Max Otake: I think the car is in my mom’s name, but no one else drives it but me. My mom inherited the car briefly when my grandma passed away. No one was driving the car during that time, so it was just sitting around. I was going to just use the car temporarily and buy a new car in the summer [of 2016], but car grew on me and I didn’t want to spend the money.

Ashley Phan: In my family, the car is considered mine. My dad bought the car in 2002, and when I was learning to drive, I asked if I could have the car.

Nic Garland: My uncle got the car for his girlfriend, but she said the car was a gas guzzler and attracts too much attention from the police. So then, my dad bought the car, because he always wanted a sports car. The car was my dad’s for a little bit when I was learning to drive, but now it’s mainly my car.

Alyssa Gozum: My grandma gave me my car. I could have driven a truck, my dad had but the gas was very expensive.

Aitana Abouata: I pay my own lease every month ($140) now that I have a job, but my aunt helped make the first down payment. I bought this car, because there was a special deal about the Jetta I saw on TV.

Also, if you are learning to drive, remember to use your blinker

Q: What is some advice you would give to people who are getting their first car?

Max Otake: I had to borrow my dad’s car for the first month. This wasn’t super ideal, because I could never drive to school and had to work around his schedule. If you have the money, I recommend buying a reliable car that’s not super old, but if you are inheriting a car, it’s not a bad thing either.  

Ashley Phan: I don’t know how to get gas. I have to ask my dad to get me gas every Saturday. Ao make sure you know how to get gas. For choosing a car, it depends on what you are going to do after high school. If you are going to be staying in the area, then choose a nicer car you can use for a majority of your life. But if you are planning to move somewhere far away, then just use your parent’s car. By the time you get your license, you would only have about a year before you move. Also, if you are learning to drive, remember to use your blinker.

Nic Garland: In the beginning, it’s definitely better to have a cheaper car or one that’s in your family, because you can make a lot of mistakes. You can always sell the car later and get something new. When you are getting gas, never wait until the last minute. I cut it pretty close a couple times, so play it safe and keep your tank filled.

Alyssa Gozum: When first driving on your own, pay attention and don’t drive fast, especially when your friends are telling you to go faster or race people.

Aitana Abouata: When getting your first car, you should get an older model, because I crashed my new car and it’s very bad. You should get something cheaper that you can own and not lease. When you take the license test, you should start a conversation with the instructor, because it distracts them.  

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