Learning to drive can be an exciting and nerve-wracking time for many of us. The prospect of having infinite freedom, being able to avoid crowded public transport and other benefits are some of the sole focuses we have when we embark on the adventure of learning to drive.
However, even when you have passed the test, it does not mean the hard part is over! Buying a car can be a complete minefield, and it only takes the smallest thing to create an unwise purchase.
From miles to MOT’s, this piece will take you through a few things you need to know and keep your eyes peeled for when looking to buy your first car!
Set a Budget
First things first, before you go delving into the world of cars, what different makes there are and what kind of colours you think will look the coolest, you need to set a budget. Cars are a very expensive commodity, and not just because of their upfront price ticket. It is easy to forget everything else that goes along with owning a car, including fuel costs, taxes, and insurance too. So those are definitely worth thinking about when you are choosing a car, as you will want it to be cheap to run and keep as well, not just to buy!
Setting a budget first will mean you might be less tempted to look at cars you know you will not be able to afford and help you avoid disappointment and feeling overwhelmed by choices.
Work out what you can afford and stick to it.
New Car or Used Car?
There are pros and cons to choosing either a new car or a used car, and what you will be using your car for and the credentials of a used car can help you weigh up the best decision.
There is a good chance that the budget will also determine whether you opt for something brand new or settle for an older model, so that is also something worth considering.
That being said, there are many financial options available now which can make the sting of purchasing a new car more bearable, and when weighing up the cover you can get if something goes wrong, it might end up cheaper in the long run, too (not to mention more hassle-free).
Usually, new cars in finance will come with at least three years cover if you face any issues and modern cars also come with all the mod-cons we can find useful too.
Opting for a used car will many times be cheaper upfront. But you might find that the costs of managing it or having repairs done will outweigh any benefits you had gotten from paying a lower cost for your vehicle. This is why it is important to weigh up those pros and cons, as sometimes the costs could end up being similar, but the hassle you might have to go through to maintain it could really tip the balance in favour of opting for a new car. Not to mention that there are a few reasons why young drivers should avoid old cars too.
Get What Car You Need
The practicalities of a car are far more important than the aesthetics of one, especially if this is your first and only car. While it might feel somewhat devastating to not be able to zip around in the latest Subaru or drive through town slowly with your soft top-down, it is far more important that you are able to get a car that suits your needs rather than your wants and can get you from A to B in a safe and cost-effective manner. That being said, if you need to drive only five miles down the road every day and only a BMW will do, then as long as you can afford it, you do you!
Have a Car in Mind? Do Your Research on it
As with many things new, the more research, the better! Find out more about your choice by looking into common faults found with the brand or what repairs have been needed the most in the past. Garage forums and online reviews are an excellent place to find out these types of information and can save you a lot of pain and hassle in the future.
It is also worth checking around for deals too, as you might be able to get a better price from different places or a better deal when buying from a specific dealership.