Buying a car can be a daunting experience, especially for a new driver.
As you haven’t owned a car before, you may not know exactly what you like, and with so many options available and choices to make, the whole process can be overwhelming.
To help you navigate the purchase of your first car, here’s our guide to the things every new driver needs to consider.
Consider carefully how well it will fit your needs
Consider your skills and what you need. If you’ll mainly be using it for a twenty-minute commute, or if you aren’t a confident driver and struggle with parking, a small hatchback will probably be the best choice for you.
However, if your daily commute is going to take a few hours and you’ll be spending a lot of time on the motorway, you’ll probably be better served by something a more powerful.
If you’re going to be using your car for family holidays, you’ll need something with plenty of boot space.
In short, don’t just buy a car because you like the look of it and it gets good reviews — consider carefully how well it will fit your needs.
Of course, you can only buy as much car as your money will allow. It’s crucial to draw up a budget at this stage so you know what price range you’re looking at.
Don’t just think about how much money you have to make the upfront purchase, but also consider the monthly costs associated with owning and running a car.
These include fuel, tyres, insurance, and, if the car is over three years old, the yearly MOT test.
The Money Advice Service has an excellent car costs calculator which can help you work out exactly what you can afford.
When calculating your budget, keep in mind that the upfront cost will be significant lower if you choose to buy second-hand.
If you’re looking to buy your first car, this may be the most sensible option even if you can afford to buy a brand new model, as, according to this report in the Telegraph, one in five drivers crash within their first year of driving.
Make sure you use the ULEZ checker and buy a car that is ULEZ compliant if you are planning to use it in London.
Browse sites such as Auto Trader to find the most competitively priced second-hand cars on the market and get the best deal.
Once you’ve decided what kind of car you want and narrowed your choices down based on your budget, it’s important to do your research to make sure you’re getting the best model you can afford.
Of course, so much of driving is down to personal preference, so make sure you test drive a number of cars which get positive reviews and pick the one you like the feel of the most.
Keep these tips in mind when you’re buying your first car and you’re sure to get a good deal on the right car for you.