Buying Your First Car

Buying Your First Car

Passing your driving test is quite a thrill. It offers the chance to enjoy the ability to go wherever you want, whenever you want. Driving represents freedom for many, and it is for that reason that buying your first car is an exciting, and meaningful moment in anyone’s life. As I’m writing this I’m very well aware that my first-born baby can apply for his provisional driving licence in three short years. That is nuts!

Getting the wrong car could turn out to be a costly mistake. There are lots of different things that can go wrong with a car. Some cars are riddled with maintenance issues and end up being in the garage more than on the road. Some cars can be money pits that you constantly need to keep throwing cash at. Then, of course, there is the aspect of road safety that comes along with certain maintenance issues. 

Getting the right vehicle for you means doing your due diligence into the vehicle itself and making a considered decision about which car to go for.

New Vs. Used and Dealer Vs. Private Seller

Before you buy a car, you should decide how you plan on buying it. You could buy a brand new car straight off the forecourt of a Vauxhall dealer, or you could opt to buy a model that is a few years old from a used car dealer. Alternatively, you could also buy a used car directly from a private seller. 

New cars come with warranties which mean that certain issues should not be a concern for you. They have financing options that could mean that you get to drive a much nicer car for less. However, new cars are obviously the most expensive route in the long-run. 

Used cars from a dealer will often have had some work to present them in a more favourable light. You may still be able to get financing for the vehicle. However, the prices may be more than an equivalent car would be with a private seller. 

With a private seller, you are buying from an unknown. You can expect to buy a car for a lower price than anywhere else, however, you do need to have your wits about you and check the car over fully before you buy it. 

Buying Your First Car: Insurance Costs

Before you decide on the car that you will be buying, check out the insurance costs and road tax for the vehicle. Shop around for quotes from as many different insurance providers as possible and work out exactly what you will be looking at in terms of your regular running costs. Make sure you don’t buy a car that you cannot afford to keep. 

Road Test The Car

When buying a car, be sure and road test it before you agree to take it. A lot can be revealed on a ten-minute drive. Make sure you test the car at a mixture of speeds and performing different manoeuvres. Listen for knocking sounds and pay attention to the car pulling to one side. These warning signs are an indication of problems that you may encounter once you own the car. 

If at all possible, get a trusted mechanic to check out the car for you, especially if you are buying secondhand.

Buying Second-Hand Electronic Items

Buying Second-Hand Electronic Items

Here at Cawood Cottage we love our tech. We’re a techy and geeky family. We’re also not people who feel the need to spend ridiculous amounts of money on tech. Keeping up with the latest advancements in technology can be quite mind-boggling. Every two minutes it feels as though there is a new smartphone on the market or a TV with lots of exciting new features. We value the technological advances but also like to live to a budget so buying second-hand electronic items for us just makes sense.

With all of this exciting tech flying around, people are continually upgrading everything that they own. Often, an item will only be a year or two old before it is replaced with something which does not appear to the untrained eye to even be that much different. 

All of these technological advancements have two effects; firstly, they do create a throwaway society. And secondly, they create a wealth of opportunity for second-hand buying. If you are of the view that we don’t need to replace things unless they are broken, then chances are you won’t see the harm in buying second-hand.

Here are a few tips for buying your second-hand electronic items.

Buying Second-Hand Electronic Items: Televisions

Some people swap their TV every year. They want an even bigger screen, with an unsettlingly high definition display. But if your primary objective is just to watch things on TV, then getting a second-hand TV will suit you just fine. Only one of our TV sets was bought new (and that was on sale).

The things that you will need to check for are that there is an HDMI input as well as a socket for digital aerials. Most TVs that have been made in the last fifteen years or so will have these features. And chances are that if the TV was made in the previous ten years, then it will be HD. 

Buying Second-Hand Electronic Items: Smartphones

With product launch after product launch, most models of popular smartphones have had several waves of new versions, with many being into double figures. Often the differences are fairly minimal when it comes down to it. They may have a slightly better processor, a better camera, or an enhanced screen. Unless you want your phone for running complicated apps or games all of the time, then you won’t need the fastest flashiest phone out there. 

When it comes to buying a second-hand smartphone, you will need to know that the battery is still in good condition. If you are buying it as a refurbished model from a retailer, you may get a guarantee on it. However, if you are getting it from an individual, you should not expect this. 

A Word of Warning

You should check to see if the phone has ever been stolen. If you mention to the seller that you need to check this, you may save yourself some time here, if they don’t want to sell it to you, then it’s probably stolen. If you do get to examine it, look up the IMEI number from the phone’s settings and check an online database to find out the phones previous ownership information. 

How do you feel about buying second-hand tech? Is it a great way to save some money and reduce the throwaway culture or does buying everything new work better for you and your lifestyle?