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Tips for new drivers buying their first car 2022

Monday, November 8, 2021


So, you are a new driver looking to buy their first car? There are so many factors when it comes to buying a car and it can be stressful to decide what to buy. So, we have compiled some top tips to help you when buying your first car

Consider your budget for the car 

Consider how much you can afford for your first car, remember you will need to factor in costs such as your car insurance which can be very high for new and learner drivers and other potential costs like Tax and NCT.
Older cars are usually cheaper but can have more issues due to age and a new driver insurance can be more expensive on older cars, but a well looked after older car with regular servicing could serve you well during your first couple of years driving.  

Decide what type of car you like 

Consider what type of car it is you want, there are many factors such as new versus old cars, engine size, vehicle size or how many seats to name but a few. Some makes are more reliable than others and some car parts are easier to source for mechanics than others which would make repairs less expensive whereas some cars will cost a lot more when it comes to replacing parts. Cars have different shapes, sizes, styles, and features, so its essential you find a car within your budget that you like and fits your needs. 


Petrol cars can be bought cheaper than other types of cars, but petrol is the most expensive fuel to buy and every year, the cost of petrol is going up as the government tries to steer consumers to the more environmentally friendlier option of buying an electric car. The one benefit of a petrol car is there is a huge availability of them in most makes and models. 


Electric cars have become massively popular in recent years, and the world is pushing for people to make the switch over to smaller electric cars and reduce their carbon footprint. The government are offering grants for those who want to buy electric cars which makes the costs slightly cheaper. 

Electric cars cost less to run when compared to petrol and diesel, they have cheaper tax rates and are also cheaper to insure. The only downside is that electric cars - for the moment at least - are quite expensive, even with government grants. Electric cars are also automatic, and it costs more to do lessons in an automatic car. 

When the prices drop in the next few years, these could be a great option but right now, it may not be the most feasible option for first drive drivers on a budget. 


Diesel cars aren’t as cheap to run in comparison to electric, but they are more affordable than a petrol car. They also tend to be more widely available. Diesel cars are more fuel-efficient than petrol vehicles, generating more fuel and using less power. A diesel car is a great option if you want more availability and want to run your car for a lower cost. 

Go for a smaller Engine Size 

Most insurance companies in Ireland are reluctant to insure newer drivers with anything over a 1.6 engine size. Sticking to an engine size of 1.0 - 1.5 will give you cheaper car insurance options. 

Some popular car choices with smaller engines are as follows. 

  • VW Polo
  • Ford Fiesta 
  • Nissan Micra 
  • Skoda Octavia 
  • Ford Focus
  • Seat Ibiza 

Benefits of a Car Dealer Vs Private Seller 

If your budget is low, you may prefer to deal with private sellers online but there are many issues to this as a new driver buying their first car. Being a new driver, you may not be able to tell if there are any issues with a car you may be buying and with a private seller, you may never see your money again meaning you may need to spend more in the long run if a lot of repairs are needed. 

Buying from a dealer is more expensive but it certainly has its benefits  

  • Getting a receipt and being able to return it in case of any issues 
  • Cars from a dealership usually have Tax and NCT up to date 

Car dealerships usually have mechanics check out their cars for issues and have repairs done before selling them.

Test the car 

Before buying any car it's best to always give it a test drive to make sure there aren’t any issues and that you are satisfied with how the car drives, you also want to make sure it has enough space and has all the features you may want.

Always bring a mechanic or a friend or family member who is knowledgeable about cars to help you look at a car you are interested in to make sure that it is driving well and there are no issues with the vehicle. 

Getting a car insurance in Ireland 

Car Insurance for young drivers can be very expensive but at we help new and learner drivers get the best possible car insurance quotes. Request a quote from us today! Or call us at 01 231 9310.