Tips for buying your first car

Collaborative Post¦ Buying a first car is a rite of passage, but it’s important to get it right, as not only can it influence the cost of your car insurance, but it can also impact road safety too. Whether you’ve saved up for it, taken out a loan to help finance it or had help from the Bank of Mum and Dad, it’s something you’ll never forget.

Set your budget

When making a big purchase, it’s important to have a budget and stick to it. By creating a budget you can start planning how much you need to save. This will ensure you don’t overstretch yourself on a car you can’t afford or conversely, not save enough, and then end up with a car you’re disappointed in.

Remember to budget for car insurance, road tax, the MOT test and of course, fuel. Credit cards can be useful to help you manage these additional expenses if necessary, but remember to pay the balance off in full each month.

If you need to relocate a car, you’ll also need to budget for that. You can get relocation for good value here.

Choose your first car

Chances are you’ve already got an idea of what you want your first car to be. But it’s worth bearing in mind that cars that have 1.4 litres engines and smaller will make your insurance cheaper. Cars that are consistently considered the best cars for first time drivers tend to be small hatchbacks like the Corsa, Clio and C1. Not only are they compact, making them easier for new drivers to manoeuvre,  but their safety features score highly on the Euro NCAP crash tests.

Start looking

Thanks to the internet, it couldn’t be easier to start looking for your first car. Whether you’re going straight to a dealership, or to a second-hand specialist like AutoTrader, take your time searching and have fun with the process.

Explore your options

Whether you know the specific car that will fit your needs or not, you need to compare different vehicles and their features to determine the most suitable one. Narrow down your choices by looking at different car rankings in various categories like auto type (hybrids or SUVs) and safety. When buying a new car, it’s also important to read reviews, including The Vw Transporter T6.1 Awards: The Best, Worst, and Weirdest Things We’ve Seen. On the other hand, if you choose to buy a used car, remember to ask for the car report, which includes the history of the car and the number of accidents.

Check the car over

New cars are protected by law and covered with a warranty, but it’s always worth looking over the car first before driving it off the forecourt to ensure there are no bumps or scratches. If you’re going down the second-hand route and buying from a dealer, you’ll have some protection, but you still need to check things over for yourself. Buying privately does have its advantages, however it’s imperative that you check all the paperwork and ensure the description matches with the vehicle. Always take the car for a test-drive to make sure it feels comfortable and safe to drive. Be sure the engine is cold before you begin, because an engine that’s been warmed could be hiding problems.

Purchase your first car

Just like buying a house, you can haggle on the price, but do your research first, and don’t be afraid to walk away. You shouldn’t pay more than you expect to.

Personalise it

Once you have found your perfect first car, you can start to enjoy the incredible feeling of freedom that comes from having a vehicle of your own. As well as being able to go where you want, whenever you want, you will also be able to make your car look however you like. Being able to personalise your car to match your style is one of the best parts of owning your first vehicle. The great news is there are so many ways that you can ensure your car reflects your tastes. You may decide to change your alloys and look for brake caliper painters to give your wheels a fresh new look. Alternatively, you could alter the colour and finish of your car with a vinyl wrap; there are infinite possibilities available when it comes to giving your new car a personal touch that matches your style and taste.

 

We understand that it can be tempting to choose the first, cheapest or even fastest car you’ve seen, but take your time, do your research, and take test drives. This is a big investment, and you want to feel safe and confident when you’re out driving.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Cover photo by jim from Pexels

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