A Guide to Buying Your First Car
Buying your first car is a huge step forward. It’s something you’ve probably been looking forward to for a long time as well, so you’re going to be excited too. It’s important you go into the car buying process well prepared though. Running a car is expensive, even more so for young drivers, so you’re going to want to get the right deal for you.
If you don’t know a lot about cars and you’re not sure what you want, get a friend or family member to help you prepare. You’ll probably want to take them to dealerships with you too as you don’t want to get ripped off by unscrupulous salesmen. This guide should serve as a good starting point for your car search.
Pass Your Test
Before you can get started with the car search though, you need to learn to drive. It’s up to you whether you learn with a family member or a professional. But in my experience, being taught by a parent is never much fun, and being taught by a professional is usually the safer option. Take all the lessons you need before you go ahead with your test.
A lot of people make the mistake of taking their test too soon and end up failing it. This is a waste of time and money so make sure you’re fully prepared before booking your test. I wouldn’t recommend buying a car before you pass the test either. You need to be able to test drive the car to know whether it’s right for you.
Set a Budget
So, you’ve passed your test, and you need to decide how much you’re going to spend on your first car. Budgets are vital when you’re making a big purchase. And buying your first car is probably the biggest purchase you’ve made in your life so far.
You should be realistic about how much you can spend. First cars are never fancy or top of the range. It’s about finding something basic that you like and can get you where you need to go to each day without breaking down too often. Your second car will be more of an upgrade.
What Do You Need From the Car?
There are different things that different cars offer you though. You should ask yourself what it is you really need from the car. The answer for a lot of first time car buyers is low running costs and a decent level of reliability.
These are important factors when your budget is small. You want something that will do the basics right. Read up on reviews and look for cars that have a reputation for being relatively cheap to run and have good durability.
New or Used?
The eternal question of car buying is ‘new or used?’ There are big advantages and disadvantages attached to both options. But, as a first time car buyer, which one you choose will probably be decided for you. Used cars are the only sensible option for a lot of people.
If you are lucky enough to be able to buy a new car though, there are still things to consider. New cars depreciate in value very quickly once you get them on the road. And you’ll obviously have to spend a lot more money.
What to Be Careful of When Buying Used
Take someone with you when you go to look at used cars on a car lot. You want to avoid being seduced by the sales patter of the salesman. Look at the car objectively and closely examine whether it fits your needs and is in good condition.
You will also want to check that it’s not a cut and shut car. These are cars that are made up of two cars that have been fixed together. Take someone who knows about cars with you to make sure you don’t fall into that trap. It’s equally important to be careful if you’re buying from an individual seller who’s advertising their car online.