You’ve passed your driving test - woohoo - and the time has come to buy your first car. It’s an exciting prospect, but considering the sales tactics of many a professional car dealer, you do need to put a few things into perspective first before you part ways with your cash. So, when looking for your first car, keep the following at the forefront of your mind to ensure your first buy is a good one!
Remember to do your research
When you’re paying out on a major life-expense, such as buying a home, you need to do your research. The same applies when buying a car. Considering the potentially huge amount of money you will be spending, you don’t want to make a costly mistake. There are loads of car websites online, and while it can be overwhelming, narrow down your search by focussing on specific models of cars you are interested in. Read reviews, find out what cars are worth investing your money in, and then start to shop around. Test drive any car that takes your fancy, but if you aren’t a motoring enthusiast, bring a seasoned driver along with you to help you make an informed decision (for me, that's my Dad). Many first-time drivers make an ill-informed choice in their rush to buy a car, but a little bit of time and research will ensure you don’t do the same.
Remember to budget
Set yourself a bar on how much you are able to spend on a vehicle and then narrow your search accordingly. This is another important part of your research, as you will be able to find a car within your needs and budget eventually, so it pays to shop around at all the local car dealers and classified ads before you part with your money. Remember too those extra expenses, such as fuel costs, insurance, road tax, etc., when working out how much you can reasonably afford to spend each month, and factor in the cost of a car loan if you are paying for the car over time. Beware of the sales patter of the salesman as well, and don’t be swayed by any ‘special offer’ that may take you beyond your means.
A car might look good but how practical is it for you to drive? Go with your head and not your heart, and consider your needs. If you are still having trouble with some of those pesky maneuvers, such as parallel parking, you might want to buy a smaller vehicle. If you have specific needs around a disability, look for deals, such as these Vauxhall Motability Offers. If you will be regularly using your car for your family, consider how much space you need to accommodate everybody. If you are using the car to commute regularly, consider fuel efficiency. List your practical needs, and tick off the boxes when you’re shopping around.
There is a lot to consider when buying your first car, but a sensible purchase is better than an expensive headache later on! As well as following these tips, talk to any car enthusiasts you know and make use of their ‘qualified’ advice. Thanks for reading, and take care when you eventually get onto the road. Good luck!