Finally, you’ve passed your driving test! Now it’s a matter of figuring out what your first car will be. It’s an important decision and will seem like a heap of money to spend, probably the most you have spent in your life so far. So you make the best decision, we’re sharing a list handy list of tips for buying your first car.
Buying Used v Buying New
In the age-old list of steps to buying your first car, this is always the first question new car buyers must think about: should you buy a used car or a new car? Well, we’re here to say that the age of the car you settle on is entirely up to you – simple as! However, there are pros and cons, and once again, it’s up to you to consider which side more accurately matches up with your needs.
A used car will always be cheaper than a brand new car, and it may also have more value than a new car model, depending on the make of car you buy. However, a new car comes with a full warranty to take advantage of, some even with roadside assistance included. You’ll never have to worry how many miles are on the clock either – there’s just nothing dodgy to take into account here!
What Budget Should You Work with?
One of our biggest tips for buying a first car is to work out your budget ahead of time. And in making a proper budget, instead of just coming up with a figure on the spot, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to make use of your car.
Where do you need to go? How often do you need to go there? How many people are going to be along for the ride? Do you live in an area with muddy, wet conditions? Do you live in an area with nice smooth roads? Are you on the taller side? Then how much legroom do you need? Answer these questions to hit an average figure; for someone who doesn’t go any further than a couple of roads away, you won’t need more than a couple of grand in the pot.
Most of all, don’t feel pushed into a sale without doing some research into your bank account. Take a moment now to consider the financial aspect of buying your first car, and then come back to see the rest of the tips on this list.
Consider Car Model Safety Stats
You need your first car to be a model known for its safety. You’re a new driver, possibly with a P plate attached to the back of the car, and that can make the road a lot more daunting to drive on. So you need the car you’re in to be a safe model, built with as many mod cons as possible.
To check safety ratings, go online and check out the safety ratings for any models you’re interested in or the models that fit into your budget. You can do this using the NCAP website. And remember, the safer the car is known to be, the easier it’s going to be to get a reasonable insurance premium on it!
Is the Car Known to be a Liability?
As a counterpoint to the tip above, here is another one of our selected great tips for buying a first car: make sure it’s got a reliable reputation. There’s just no point buying a car if it’s been involved in a recall or doesn’t handle as well as the model brought out the year after.
Look into the history of the model and the manufacturer. What are they known for? What kind of cars do they make? How well-reviewed are the models that come straight off the chassis? Always use review sites to verify this information and avoid searching for it on the manufacturer’s website itself. You never know how much marketing material is used compared to actual, real stats on the car itself.
Never Forget About Fuel Economy!
Finally, don’t ever forget to ask about the fuel economy on any model that’s been fitting the bill so far. As far as our tips go on buying your first car, this is the most crucial signing-off point you can think about. You want to get as much bang for your buck as you can hear, and you can’t do that if the car in question is an absolute fuel guzzler.
So it would help if you found out the kilometers per liter of any car that’s of interest to you. You can use online calculators to do this. A report by CarsGuide.com.au stated that anything listed as less than 6-litres/100km or more than 16.5km/1-litre is considered pretty good fuel efficiency. The first (and most common) reference is liters per 100km (liters/100km). Remember, the more fuel you need, the more expensive running your car will be, and fuel prices are soaring at the moment.
As a first-time car buyer, you’ll look back and thank yourself for being so savvy in buying your first car. We live in a world where savviness pays off for all big purchases and life decisions. Keep these tips in mind – they’ll go a long way.