What You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Car

When you are buying your first car, there are a lot of things to consider. You want to make sure that you get the best car for your needs and that you don’t overspend when you’re still getting to grips with driving. At the same time, you want to be sure that you are buying a car that will hold its value over time, the last thing you want is to buy a new car and then see it lose all of its value in just one year. Here are some tips to help you make the right decision when purchasing your first vehicle.

What to consider when buying a car

When buying any car, you should always take your time to weigh up the options. Do not get pressured into making a decision that you will later regret. To make sure that you are getting the right car for your needs, there are a few key questions you should ask yourself first.

hand holding key

What do you need the car for?

Firstly, it is important to decide what you are going to use your car for. Think about how often you will be using the car, where you will be using it and what you expect to carry in it. This is a very important step in making sure you find the right car, as you will need to consider many factors, such as how many passengers you expect to carry on long journeys.

City cars, for instance, are great for short journeys and errands. However, if you need to carry more than two people at once or do regular long-distance driving then a larger car may be best suited to your needs.

city car at night

What safety features should you look for?

Another important aspect to consider is the safety features that your car should have. All cars sold in the UK will include basic safety features like airbags, and the majority of modern cars will also come with anti-lock brakes (ABS) as well. If you are worried about driving on the roads, you might want to consider a car with features like traction control and blind-spot monitoring.

Although practically all new cars will have driver-side airbags, there are additional airbags that come installed in some modern cars and may be worth considering. These include curtain airbags, which are designed to protect the heads of both the driver and passengers from side impact in the event of a crash.

Cars for new drivers

So what makes a car good for new drivers? The first concern that most young drivers or new drivers have is price. Of course, you want to get the best car that you can afford but you should not lose sight of your budget. Low running costs and upkeep costs are also very important to consider, as long-term costs are just as important as the initial price.

As mentioned before, safety features are also really important to consider when buying your first car. If you are just starting out on the road after passing your driving test, a car with a good safety rating will give you the peace of mind that you need when driving.

Other factors to consider include build quality, which will impact how long your car lasts, and fuel economy, as this can have a big impact on running costs.

Additionally, if you are buying a car with low horsepower it will be easier to control.

How much you should spend on your first car

Once you have decided on your usage needs, you can then consider your budget. You may need to look at some second-hand cars or even consider buying a car with finance. At the same time, you also need to think about how much you can afford to spend per month on your car repayments, fuel and insurance.

As a general rule of thumb, experts recommend that you should not spend more than 10% of your monthly income on your car costs. However, this may vary depending on your individual circumstances.

Once you have considered all of these factors, you will be in a much better position to make an informed decision about which car is right for you

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Insurance Cost

Car insurance rates vary depending on the type of car you are looking for, but it is important to note that the more expensive your car is, the more likely you are to pay higher premiums. This means that when buying your first car, it may be worthwhile thinking about purchasing a cheaper car so that you can reduce the cost of your insurance premiums.

Another thing to consider is the insurance groups that different cars fall into. If you are looking for cheap insurance costs, it may be better to find a car with an insurance group of 1-5 as the lowest insurance groups tend to come with the lowest insurance costs.

Your car’s insurance group is not the only factor that can impact costs. Unfortunately, young drivers tend to pay the most for car insurance as insurers consider them to be a greater risk than older drivers. Generally, drivers under the age of 21 pay more for their car insurance.

Types of cars and their benefits/drawbacks

Different types of cars have different benefits and drawbacks. If you are a new driver, you will need to consider if a smaller car would be easier for you to handle, or if a larger vehicle is more suitable for your usage needs. You may also want to consider the availability of space within the car as well as its ease of parking.

Petrol vs Diesel

You may be wondering which type of car is better for you. Well, that depends on your criteria. Petrol cars are cheaper to buy and maintain but are more expensive over time because they need fuel more often (and this costs money). Diesel vehicles typically come with a higher purchase price in the beginning though their engines are more efficient and they save money at the pump.

However, petrol engines still come with lower NOx emissions, which makes them greener and thus helps automakers meet legislation surrounding environmental protection. Despite modern improvements, diesel vehicles produce considerably more NOx. This is also the reason why they are taxed much higher.

The buyer should take into account what they want from their vehicle before deciding which would work best; whether it’s just getting around town or something that they’ll put through its paces on longer drives.

car refuelling

Electric Cars

Electric cars are becoming popular as a way of reducing CO2 emissions and reducing our reliance on oil.

They are easier to maintain as they have fewer parts that can break down, making less work for you in the long run. The benefit of a smaller engine is also a good reason to buy an electric car as it will take up less space in the car. The downsides are that they don’t have a long range, so you need to remember to charge them overnight when you get home. Some models also take about 5 hours to charge fully, so if you need to go further afield, this could be quite a long time.

Despite the benefits, they can be offputting to new drivers due to their steep initial purchase price, but have been made somewhat more affordable as a result of government grants.

electric car charging

Hybrid Cars

If the cost of an electric car is putting you off buying one, then you could consider a hybrid car instead. The main benefit of a hybrid car is that it uses both an electric engine and a traditional petrol engine. If you are driving in town, it will typically be powered by the electric engine for improved fuel economy. However, if you drive on the motorway or undertake longer journeys, then the petrol engine can kick in to power the car directly.

Hybrid cars have the same benefits of being cheaper to maintain in the long term without many of the drawbacks of electric cars.

Hybrids come in a few different forms, but the most common are:

Where to buy your car

You should always try and do some research before buying a car. If buying second-hand, make sure you check out the various reputable second-hand car sellers in your area. You may also want to consider buying from a dealer, as you will be able to arrange finance for the vehicle and they will often provide warranties and other benefits.

At the same time, you should also consider car insurance and whether you would like to buy your car with finance or upfront. This will help ensure that your first car is as simple and stress-free as possible to find and purchase.

New vs. Used

There is no definitive answer as to which type of car you should purchase, whether they are new or used. Both have their benefits and drawbacks and your decision will largely depend on what you can afford and the age of the car that you want to buy.

two people in suits shaking hands

Used cars

Used cars are typically much cheaper than buying new, but you do run the risk of getting an unreliable car that won’t last very long. However, if you’re able to do some research on the second-hand market in your area, you should be able to pick up a reliable used car.

Cars that have been checked out by an independent mechanic will often provide you with the best possible choice, as it means that any issues with the car should have been identified.

New cars

Buying new is almost always more expensive than buying second-hand, the upside is a car that tends to last much longer and will hold its value if you decide to sell it later on. If you buy a brand new car and then take out finance, you will also be able to benefit from the warranty that comes with it.

If you’re looking for the cheapest cars, you should try and stick to a budget. It can be tempting to spend more money on a higher-priced vehicle, but if you don’t have the funds for this, look at used cars – they are much cheaper to buy and run than newer models. In addition, it is always possible to upgrade your car later on as well.

What to do after purchasing a new car

Once you have bought your new car, it is important to remember the following:

– Register the car with DVLA – Once you have purchased a new car, it is your responsibility to register the car with DVLA and tax it. Some car dealers will register the vehicle for you, but otherwise, you’ll need to visit the DVLA website and follow the required steps.

– Insure the car – You will need to arrange insurance before you start driving to ensure that you are covered in case of an accident. All cars are required by law to be insured, no matter what the age or value is.

calculator and finances

– Fill up on petrol – If you are planning to take the car straight home after buying it, make sure that you fill up with petrol. It’s not uncommon for dealerships to only fill the car up to half a tank or less when selling it.

– Service the car – It is also important to service any new car once it has passed its warranty period. Take it to a licensed mechanic and ask them to check it over for any issues that may require a quick fix or more extensive work.

mechanic working