One of the most exciting parts of growing up is learning to drive. The freedom of taking yourself where and when you want to go is a feeling like no other. Buying a car, however, is far more than just walking into the nearest car showroom and falling in love with a bug on wheels. It is a confusing business and if you are buying your first ever car after passing your driving test, you need to take someone with you who knows what they are doing.
It is easy for first time car buyers to get stung when choosing their very first vehicle – car salespersons can detect a newbie a mile away. The last thing you need when you are riding high from passing your driving test is to be taken advantage of by a salesman.
No one will ever forget the first car he or she bought. It has to be a good one and it has to be safe and affordable for you. If your parents are chipping in, or you are buying a car for your teenager, then follow these tips for keeping smart when buying your first car.
First things first, do not head for the nearest sports cars – no matter how old you are. Your first car should be a reliable, comfortable vehicle that you can drive safely. Sports cars do not ooze confidence in safe driving.
It is always smart to decide early between whether you buy new or used when you buy your first new car. A used car is always going to be the cheaper option to buy outright; that is obvious. Buying the same model brand new will set you back a bit and when you need to consider having money for insurance and costs on the road as well as gas, buying used car makes far more sense. A second-hand car is always worth less than 40% of the original sticker price after three years on the road, so pick up a bargain with a used car.
Articles on car buying such as these will always tell you that you should consider saving the money for a used car rather than purchasing a car on finance. Why give yourself the extra monthly cost plus interest when you can just buy your car with cash in hand?
As a first-time driver, you should consider the cost of your car insurance. You are brand new to driving, which means you are not known to be reliable on the road. This translates to car insurance costs being higher than what an experienced driver has. Finding the best deals for your car insurance should be one of the first things you do when searching for a car. Car insurance comparison websites like MoneyExpert.com can give you an honest quote from the top car insurers in the area. Always make a costs list including registration and tax costs before you buy as it does vary between car to car.
Car safety is important, as you need to be able to drive without risking yourself or others. Of course, you cannot control the way other people on the road are driving but you can control your reactions – and that is the secret to safe driving. Buying a new car often means having the best safety features. The latest models have the newest technology on airbags and safety kits installed. Any car, though, is unsafe if the person driving it is not taking proper precautions on the road. When you buy used, look out for how many times the car has failed its MOT and safety checks and never buy a car that looks like it’s been put together made from lots of other parts. These are called ‘cut and shuts’ and you can read more about them here.
Always be sensible with your costs when you buy a new car, even if the car itself is used. Don’t max out on what you think you can afford so you can have back up money for unexpected expenses and fixes. When you walk into the showroom, ask questions and be prepared to haggle. Not everyone is able to negotiate but if you try, you may reap the rewards.
The one thing to remember about buying your first car is that until you sign on a dotted line, you are not tied into any kind of deal, which means you can walk away the moment you are uncomfortable with anything.
Congratulations on passing your test; it is time for you to go ahead and buy that first car: do not forget the fuzzy dice!