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.

Child-Proof Your Car For Maximum Safety

Child-Proof Your Car For Maximum Safety

The running of your family car will likely involve lots of journeys with your kids. Whether it’s trips to the grocery store, school runs, or friends houses for playdates; you’ll want to be taking all the precautions that you can to keep your kids safe on board which means taking time to child-proof your car.

Child-Proof Your Car: Consider Your Car Seats 

 Car seats are incredibly important when it comes to child-proofing your car. The seats will keep your children in place when driving and protect them in an accident. You’ll know that young children are too little to use a normal seat belt, so a car seat is an essential purchase for them until they are old enough to go without. You need to shop around for the right kind of car seat for your needs, and you should ensure that the seat is installed correctly so that it can do its job.

Generally speaking, infants will have a rear-facing car seat and later on, when a child is around three or four years old, they will move onto front-facing car seats. Booster seats can be used for children who become too big for a car seat but still need a little support. Make sure you are aware of the legal updates regarding booster seats.

Child-Proof Your Car Journey: Choose Toys Wisely 

While you’ll want to keep your kids entertained, you won’t want to give them any toys that they could choke on. You also won’t want to give them any toys that could be dangerous in the situation of hard braking or a crash. Soft toys are best, plus the use of kid’s music and similar. With this in mind, make sure the floor of your car is clean of any objects that could be harmful to your kids. Clear your car of anything that could get in your way while you are behind the wheel. Ensure never to place any objects close to your pedals that could get stuck. All common sense but worth reminding yourself of.

Child-Proof Your Car Journey With Regular Maintenance 

This is something that I’ve written about before, Regular maintenance is essential to keep everyone in your vehicle safe. Ensure that you get your car serviced often and always inspect your vehicle before you start each journey. Check your tyres, underneath the bonnet and the interior of your car to make sure that all is safe and well. If you keep on top of your maintenance checks, you’ll reduce the likelihood of problems occurring when you’re on the roads.

Teach Your Children About Car Safety 

You should teach your kids about the importance of wearing a seatbelt in a vehicle at all times. If they understand the dangers involved, it’s more likely that they will help you to help them. In addition to this, never leave your kids unattended in a vehicle, no matter what. Hot cars are a dangerous environment for children to be left in. It’s always better to stick together; even if you are only popping into the store for a minute.

 When it comes to keeping your kids safe in a car, there’s much to think about! But as long as you service your vehicle, get the right car seats and help your kids to learn about safety- you’ll be well on the right track! 

 Top Tips:

Before you take your kids on a road trip, remember to have a first aid kit to hand and plenty of water too. On longer journeys, children can become more agitated so it’s best to keep these to a minimum if you can help it. If you need to take a longer trip, allow yourself regular breaks and plan the journey in detail so you do not get distracted.