You have just passed your driving test and are now thinking that you need your first car, and fast! However, you are not sure where to start. What do you need to do to get your first car?! Here are some tips on buying your first car, so that you can do so without needing to worry too much so that you can focus on the main thing – Driving it!
Here are some great tips
Buying your first car can be quite stressful, especially with so much worry about buying a lemon, be it one that is a mechanical menace, or one that has been previously crashed, stolen or hire purchase. Buying a car is one of the largest investments many people make.
Take someone with you
There is no need to go to see a potential car on your own, especially if you are quite nervous about the process. It is quite easy to get quite flustered or forget details that you want to check. Taking someone with you can give you reassurance in how you find out about the car and make your decision on purchasing it. If you have nobody to go with you, you may be better off going to an authorised used car dealer. Sticking to a main dealer in your area will mean that you are less likely to get ripped off. However, this can mean that you get less car for your money.
Know your budget
Knowing how much you can afford to spend on a car is a major part of buying a car. There is a vast chasm between each end of the costs of cars, but for the most part first time drivers start off with a used car. It could be that you have saved up, or borrow a lump sum of money to buy your car, and it is important to stick to this budget where possible. Sometimes you can look at cars that are slightly above your budget, with a view to haggling. The Parkers website is a good neutral resource where you can check what the insurance group of potential cars are.
Can you afford the running costs?
Buying a car is just one part of the expense, and your choice of car can make a massive difference to the running costs. Insurance is going to be a huge consideration; especially as a new driver. New driver’s insurance attracts a larger premium because of the higher risk of accidents. You can and should check what insurance group the car you are looking to buy is before you buy it. Did you know, that you could spend thousands of pounds per year for some cars. Some insurers will refuse to offer a policy for new drivers who want to drive some types of cars, especially performance ones because the risk is just too high.
Other costs can include servicing and fuel costs. Simple things like the tyres can easily cost you in excess of £100 per tyre, sometimes much more for some cars. At the opposite side of the scale, many smaller cars can have tyres that cost almost half that. Fuel efficiency is another large factor. You have to realise that any quoted figure will be higher than your general day to day fuel efficiency. Often these figures are gained during optimum, low load speeds for long amounts of time. The last thing you want to do is to have to resort to borrow money from family, friends or even need to use payday loans or short term finance to pay for fuel or to replace a tyre just to be able to run your car.
Is it mechanically sound?
The final thing, is how mechanically sound is the car you are looking at? It is riskier to buy a car that has a small amount of MOT remaining, as this increases the chance that there is work needed to make the car roadworthy. If a car has a full MOT certificate, it means that the car has recently been inspected and judged to be safe. If you aren’t car savvy, getting someone to go with you to look at the car should be a must. You can also pay the AA to inspect a car before you buy it.
Hopefully these tips help you make the right choice with buying your first car. Enjoy your new-found freedom, and life on the road!