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How to Buy a Car With a Permit?

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Why buy a car with a permit?

Buying a car without a license means that you are buying a car that you cannot drive, which can be confusing to some people. However, there are situations when buying a car with a permit is a necessity. Some of the situations when you may need to buy a vehicle with a learner’s permit include:

  • You have a business that needs a car for employees to drive
  • You are buying the vehicle as a gift to a loved one with a license
  • You are disabled and need to have a car for the caregiver to drive
  • You have a dependent that cannot legally finance the vehicle
  • You have a designated driver or chauffeur to carry you
  • You saw a big bargain that you want to take advantage of

Furthermore, you will not find a law that requires one to have a valid driver’s license to purchase a vehicle. Therefore, it is possible and legal for a lender to give you a loan to help you finance a car even without a driver’s license as long as you meet the financial obligation. However, you will need to have government identification to complete the process.

Permit Basics

The learner’s permit is the first step in getting a full license. The permit allows you to practice driving before you complete driving tests and get a license that enables unrestricted driving. The phases that you may undergo to get a license include:

  1. Learner’s permit – The permit has strict driving restrictions. You will need a licensed driver in the car to drive with a permit.
  2. Intermediate license – The intermediate license only applies in some states to drivers under 18 years.
  3. Driver license – A driver’s license gives you full driving freedom within the traffic laws.

The process of buying a car with a permit

1. Plan your budget

Can you afford to buy a car without a license? Will you buy cash or through financing? Do you a good credit score? Answering those questions will help you decide on the car you can afford. You will mostly have to choose between cash, financing, and leasing.

  • Cash - Paying for your car with cash is the least problematic as you do not need to worry about obtaining a loan or monthly interest. You also have to worry about red tapes as all you need is to wire or deposit money to the dealer’s account. However, unless you have a saving culture where you have been saving money since you were a child, you are less likely to have enough money to buy a car in cash.
  • Financing - Financing is a good option if you have a good credit score. Almost everyone with a reliable source of income can qualify for car financing. However, the interest rates will vary depending on your credit score. Buyers with good credit ratings tend to get low-interest rates and on some occasions, zero rates, while those with bad ratings tend to get higher rates.
  • Leasing – Leasing is a good option when you find the car expensive to buy or need a short term solution. Most leases take two to four years, but longer leases also exist. However, it is not economical to lease a car for more than four years. Leasing a vehicle gives you access to a car as you wait to get a license and purchase a vehicle.
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2. Shop for a car

The difficulty associated with buying a car with a permit is that dealerships will not allow you to test drive without a driver’s license. Test driving is an imperative aspect of purchasing the right car as it gives you a driving feel of the vehicle you intend to buy. You can overcome the challenge of test driving by bringing a primary driver with you to the dealership. The driver will help you determine if you should buy the car. You need a driver you can trust and who understands your needs. Alternatively, the seller can take you for a test drive as a passenger. You will need to pay close attention to any bumps, noises, and other issues.

3. Close the deal

Once you find the right car, it is time to close the deal. However, you do not have to pay the amount the dealer is asking for the vehicle. The prices are usually negotiable, including the financing and leasing terms. The goal is to ensure that you get the best value. Question all the charges and ask about the benefits and offers available to you. When committing your salary, remember you have other responsibilities to take care of during the leasing period. Once you are satisfied with all the details, ask the dealer for paperwork and pay for the car.

4. Find Insurance

Buying car insurance with a permit can be tricky. You will need to get around the limitations to complete the process. The easiest way is to provide a primary driver who will accompany you as you drive with a learner’s permit. Alternatively, you can join your parent’s insurance as most insurance providers allow parents to extend coverage to drivers under 18 years or defendants. Always remember it is against the law to drive without insurance.

5. Register the car

You will need a license to register the car with your details. However, you can get around the problem by registering the car under your business entity name. You can also register the car under a person you trust, but that is tricky as the person will technically have the legal ownership. You can consult a lawyer to help you create a contract to protect you if something goes wrong.

© 2020 Razib Mozumdar

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