Buying a new car is a right of passage for any young driver. You might have been practicing in your parents or sibling’s car for a while and you might be contemplating purchasing your own. Buying a new car can takes time as there are quite a few things to consider. Before you succumb too much to your new-found sense of freedom, consider these tips to ensure you make an informed decision.
- Consider your budget.
Sit down and address your financial situation. Depending on whether or not you have been saving up, you might want to consider a loan. It’s important to remember that loans have to be paid back with interest, so shop around with financial institutions. A good idea is to save up partially and then you can consider a smaller loan for your car.
Unfortunately, a car is not a once off fee, you will have to purchase tax and insurance. Additionally, you will have to pay for maintenance costs when they are needed. If you list out the expenses involved this will help you to see what kind of car is in your budget.
- Think about the kind of car you need.
When you’re on the hunt for a new car, it can be easy to fall into the trap of looking at large and luxurious models. If you’re still a learner driver however or if you have limited experience on the road, you’re better off going for a smaller and safer model.
Small cars are easier to navigate on the road and easier to park too. Take some time to think about how you will be utilising your car. If you live in a city with good public transport, chances are you won’t be using your car a lot day to day. You don’t want to be paying high loan repayments for an expensive car that you don’t get the use out of. So, ensure you have a long think about how frequently you will be utilising your new vehicle.
It’s also very important to pay attention to the engine size of the vehicles you are eyeing up. Larger engines are considerably more expensive to insure especially for young drivers.
3.Consider buying a used car as opposed to a new one.
A brand-new car is a tempting offer. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a young driver or a driver with years of experience under their belt, it’s hard to avoid having a look at the new models. However, there is a huge price difference between new cars and second-hand cars.
When you drive a brand-new car out of the garage it immediately starts to depreciate. Within a very short period of time your new car could be worth hundreds and maybe even thousand less. After 3 years new cars are generally worth 50% of their original value. This statistic is something to consider when you are in the market for your first vehicle.
A three-year-old car that has been regularly serviced and minded could provide a great return on investment for a young driver. Because roads are better now too, the tyres, springs, shocks and underbody of used cars are generally also in good condition.
To give a counter argument however, older cars can be more expensive to insure with your insurance company. That’s why it’s essential to contact your car insurance company when you are seriously considering a car. Your broker will be happy to provide you with an average premium for the make and model that you are considering.
Analyse your options before you rush into buying!
- Shop around.
When you have decided on the type of car you are hoping to buy and what your price range is, it’s time to start shopping around. Don’t take one quote for a car as gospel. If you want to get the best deal you might have to visit a range of different car dealerships, private owners or online sites.
It is typically recommended that if you’re purchasing a car that you do so from a dealership. Dealerships provide more legal protection than a private seller. This might not be on your mind when you’re on the hunt for a car but it could impact you down the line. There is also more transparency and accountability when you buy from a reputable dealer so keep it in mind.
Cars can be purchased from a range of places and some can be more reliable than others. If you know a car enthusiast it might be a good idea to bring them along when you are shopping. Experienced drivers will spot smaller issues with a car easier than a young driver might. This could save you time and money in the long run.
Ideally when you’re going to view a car you should be analysing:
- Whether the car matches the description.
- Any visible damage to the car.
- The mileage clocked up on the car.
- If the car has a valid NCT.
- Record that the car has been serviced.
- That all windows, doors, seatbelts etc are working sufficiently.
- Take your car for a test drive.
When you’ve found a car that you’re content with and would like to purchase, it’s important to take it for a test drive. Make sure that you are insured to do this. If you’re test driving a vehicle from a dealership you might be covered by their motor trade policy. If you are not insured to test drive a vehicle you should ask a parent or family member to complete a test drive for you.
When you’re driving the car, ask yourself the following questions.
- Is the clutch biting correctly?
- Does the vehicle turn around corners correctly?
- Are there any odd sounds or vibrations?
- Are the brakes responsive? How much pressure is needed to apply the brakes?
- Is the transition between gears good?
- Are there any noticeable problems?
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