Buying your first car is a landmark moment. You’ve saved up so hard for it and you can’t wait to have your own independence. But where do you even start in your search for the perfect car – especially if you’re not mechanically minded?
To help you find your ideal wheels and avoid any potential pitfalls, listed below is what to look out for when buying your first car:
Search for Trusted Dealers
You want to know that the car you’re buying is reliable and is exactly what the salesperson says it is. That’s why it’s highly recommended to use a reputed company, like Fords of Winsford.
If you do look to buy something through a private seller, make sure you do your research, get someone to look at the car for you, and do that all-important HPI check to make sure there isn’t outstanding finance on it, etc.
Check, Double Check and Triple Check*
New cars are covered by a warranty in case anything goes wrong. But this is completely different if the car’s second-hand. While you will have some protection if you’re buying from a dealer, there are some things to remember.
This includes checking all the paperwork, making sure all the paintwork is even (different-coloured panels could indicate the car’s been involved in an accident), and giving the car a once over to check that everything’s working as it should be and there aren’t any signs of damage or rust.
Used car dealers are legally bound to make sure the cars they sell are legal to drive, fit for purpose, of satisfactory quality and match their description. This should give you some peace of mind that you are protected when purchasing through this channel.
Take It for a Spin
Next, you’ll want to take it for a spin to make sure it’s driving properly. Now, if you’ve just passed your test, you may have only driven one car previously, so this car may feel completely different to you. In that case, you should drive it but you should also get someone else to come along to give you their opinion too.
When driving, check the brakes to make sure they feel responsive, ensure you can change gears smoothly and get a feel for how well the car performs when you’re accelerating and going around corners. Listen out for any odd vibrations or noises, and always do a high-speed test. Often, you won’t notice problems at low speeds so be sure to go to at least 60 mph during the test drive.
By looking for all of the above in your search, you should avoid any problems. And don’t forget to keep your budget in mind while also considering the cost of road tax, car insurance, new tyres, fuel and so on. While the car may be within your budget, some of these extra costs may push it out of your price range.
*Please do take all this information into consideration, as Freddy and I, about 15 years ago made the mistake of buying a Ringer and it cost a lot of money to buy the car back again from the insurance people…luckily though! (if you can call it lucky) we had the same insurers as the other people, who originally owned the car and the cost was halved, but it was still a horrible time, so I thought I would share all this info with you, so that hopefully you don’t make the same mistakes we did back then.
Have you had any bad experiences, when buying a car?
What advice would you give to first time buyers?
Or indeed anyone wanting to buy a car…
Love Happy x