So you’ve put the graft in and learnt how to drive; you’ve passed your theory test with a full-blown hangover and just about recovered from the two occasions you’re driving instructor has seen you cry.
We know the score. We also know that before you head out into the wide world (High Wycombe) to do daft things like reversing over your Nan’s garden wall, you need to buy your first car.
The chances are that, if you’re reading this article, one of your parents has already been reduced rib-breaking laughter at your request for them to buy you a car. Always worth a shot though, so fair play for that.
Fortunately, we happen to care about you more than “The World’s Worst Parents” (as they’re now known on Facebook) and have put together this excellent guide on what to consider when buying your first car.
So make yourself a cup of tea and prepare to be enlightened.
1. Consider ALL the costs
Before you set out to even buy a car, it’s worth bearing in mind that there are additional costs – besides the price of the actual vehicle – that you can’t avoid. These include:
- Upkeep – new tyres for example.
General servicing and repairs should also be taken into account. It’s wise to assume that something may go wrong with your car and will require some cash to resolve. Regular servicing can prevent these kinds of breakdowns though, and be sure to ask around a bit before committing your car to a service. You’ll often find that an independent garage may give you a better deal than an established chain
2. Question Your Engine Size
It also pays to have a bit of technical knowledge, or input from someone who does, about the sort of engine you should be looking to buy. Naturally, cars with smaller engines are going to cost less and in turn you’re going to have a better time with your insurer.
3. Decide on New vs Old
Buying a second hand car is also, obviously, going to bring the purchase price down. You should think about what you’re realistically going to use the car for (e.g. short trips across town or a long commute on the motorway), and whether you need a top of the range model or whether a ‘pre-loved’ vehicle will do nicely.
4. Consider a part exchange to help fund your ride
Even though you don’t have a car to part exchange, a family member might. Ask around to find out whether your parents or siblings are considering a part exchange on their car to help fund an upgrade, and if they are, read these tips to on part exchanging to help with the decision.
5. Get the best insurance deal
Insurers unfortunately see young drivers as a bit of a liability on the road, which is what drives up insurance prices for first time drivers. There is however various things you can do to bring that cost down. A good place to start is by purchasing a car in a low car insurance group, which typically means a car with smaller engines. You may also want to combine this with a Pass Plus course, which is an advanced driving course you can choose to do after obtaining your license. This should help to bring down your insurance premiums.
Hopefully this guide will help you on the way to scoring your first motor and saving a bit of cash along the way too. If you’ve already bought your first car and have some words of wisdom to share with any would-be Lewis Hamilton’s then please do feel free to share your story in the comments!