So you’ve passed your driving test and are now looking for your first car. You may have worked long and hard to get the required skills to pass your driving theory and practical tests, and saved money for your first car. This is an exciting time for many people, but it can also be a confusing time. There are many things to consider when it comes to buying your first car, not just the price. Spend some time to do a bit of research before you drive in and buy your first car.
Set a budget
It’s a good idea to set yourself a strict budget when buying a used car. You may have a decent amount of money saved, but it’s always worth setting your budget that little bit lower. This is in case the car needs any work in the new future, such as new tyres of brakes.
Get a used car
Nowadays it’s easier than ever to be driving around in a brand new car. With a deposit small enough to buy an old banger you can secure a lease on a brand new car with shiny paintwork and all of the latest mod-cons. Don’t be fooled though – there are plenty of risks involved when buying a new car, especially if you lease it or use finance to pay for it. Consider the implications of having a crash in a brand new vehicle that you don’t actually own. Remember you are a new and inexperienced driver so the odds of being involved in an accident are unfortunately stacked against you.
Although a used car might not be quite as glamourous, it will be a lot cheaper than a new one. Used cars will also be a bit more forgiving if you accidentally scrape that bush or grind the gears every now and then.
Don’t forget car insurance
You are probably already aware that one of the largest expenses for new drives is car insurance. In some cases the insurance for your first year of driving can cost more than your first car! As you will be deemed to have considerably less experience on the road that more established drivers, the expectation is that you will be over-confident behind the wheel and therefore an accident risk. This results in much higher insurance premiums.
When it comes to getting your first year’s car insurance, there are two things that you need to be looking for. First, you want to find an insurer that offers a fair price for newer drives, and secondly you will want to find out how much the cars that you are interested in buying will cost to insure. It’s no good buying your dream car the day after you pass your test only to find that you simply cannot afford the insurance payments.
And Breakdown Cover
There are plenty of things to think about when you own your own car, and the possibility of a breakdown is one of them. If your car is used, then there is a good chance that you may have some sort of mechanical issue with it one day. Even if your car is brand new or a used one that is very well looked after, it doesn’t take a lot to cause it to breakdown. It might even be an easy fix, but when you’re stranded on the roadside you will really wish that you had the means to get yor car somewhere that it can be looked at. So it’s important for any motorist to get some good breakdown cover that will get them out of bother when they need it. Breakdown cover can come with lots of extras such as a courtesy car while yours is being repaired, or the option to be taken to your destination. Shop around and only choose the options that you feel you will need if you’re trying to save money.
Do your Homework
Used cars are cheaper to buy, which is why the majority of new drivers will favour them over a new one. If you have a particular car in mind, then go and see the vehicle. If possible, take someone who has experience with cars and knows how to identify common problems with used ones.
Sometimes a seller may not be entirely honest or forthcoming with any issues that a car may have, so it’s important to arm yourself with some knowledge.
Make sure that you ask to see the car’s paperwork and service history so that you can try to ascertain how well it has been looked after throughout its life. As with any purchases you have to do the required due diligence in order to not lose money.
Take a Test Drive
Finding the car that’s right for you may well involve driving quite a few of them. Remember that it could take some time to learn to adapt to a vehicle that is different to the familiar car that you learned to drive in. Give yourself plenty of time to adjust and get used to the controls and switches being in a slightly different place to what you may be used to.
When it comes to buying your first car, always make sure that you get a car that you can handle. In the wrong hands, a car can be a very dangerous weapon. While it may be tempting to get a fast and high-powered car now, it may be better to get something a bit more sensible while you learn to drive and figure out the rules of the road. If nothing else, you will save money if you get a car that statistically isn’t likely to be involved in an accident.