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.