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What to consider when buying your first car.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 17 years old and eager to get on the roads, or (like me) 30 and finally learning to drive, the time will come for you to buy your first car. Buying your first car is an exciting milestone! It’s something that you should be proud of, after all, learning to drive and passing your test is quite an achievement. Plus, let’s not discount the discipline that goes into managing your finances in order to purchase a car.

If you’re looking forward to buying your first car, it’s possible you may be looking at purchasing a new car, or maybe you’re looking to go for something a little cheaper and purchase a second-hand used car. 

I’ve got to say, the intoxicating smell of ‘new car’ is enough to draw me into the showroom, and the plush interior and shiny paintwork are what really make a new car stand out to me. But, with that being said, second hand cars definitely have their place, especially if you want to spend less money and you’re not too bothered about how your car looks from the outside.

So with that being said, let’s take a look at one or two things that you should be aware of when buying your first car. 

man inside vehicle
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1 Cars are expensive to buy – can you afford the one you’re looking at?

The first thing to consider when buying your first car is that cars are expensive. Even small models that don’t come with all the extras can cost upward of £10,000. Whether you’re buying your first car brand new, trading in another car to help fund your purchase, or buying a used car from a dealership, you’re going to want to consider the cost.

A lot of people choose to finance their cars in order to make them more affordable. If you don’t have the money outright to pick up a new car, using an online payment calculator will give you an idea of payment costs. Always check that you’re able to keep up with loan payments before committing to buying your first car.

2 What do you intend to use your car for? Make sure you do your research!

When buying your first car, you should base your choice on what you intend to use your vehicle for. As a 30 year old mum of two, and dog-mum to two whippets, my first car will need to be quite spacious. Compare this to a teenager’s first car. They will have no need for a big car and plenty of boot space as they’ll likely be using their car to drive to and from college/work/hanging out with friends.

3 If you’re buying a used car, make sure you take a knowledgeable person with you to look over the car before you part with your money.

If you’re purchasing a used car through a dealership or recognised organisation, you can be relatively sure that the car you’re interested in has been fixed up and is in good condition. Be wary though when purchasing a used car from a private seller. It’s always a good idea to take someone with you when viewing a car from a private seller; it can also be beneficial to invest in an OBD scanner to help identify any existing issues with the vehicle.

Taking a friend serves a couple of purposes. Firstly, it means that if any altercations occur, you have a witness and someone to help you. Secondly, taking a knowledgeable friend along with you when buying a used car from a private seller will give you peace of mind that the car you’re interested in buying is in good condition. Make sure to check for rust, ask questions about the car’s performance, and ensure that everything is in working order before handing over the cash. 

Other things to consider when buying your first car.

It’s not just the initial cost of the car or the monthly loan payments that need to be considered. When buying your first car, you need to take into consideration the rising cost of fuel, insuring your vehicle, MOTs, replacing tyres, and general maintenance. Make sure that you’re able to cover the costs of running your car before handing over your money.

Are you thinking about buying your first car? I’d love to know what type of aspects you’re considering. Are you like me, looking for a big boot and plenty of room for kids? Or are you looking for something smaller to zip around town in? Let me know in the comments!

*This is a collaborative post.

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.

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