Buying a your first car

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Buying your first car is a big investment and choosing the right one is the most important decision to make.

It is advisable to take someone with you when

Buying your first car

After passing your driving test, the overwhelming feeling of relief usually gives way to a feeling of excitement – soon you’ll be able to get behind the wheel whenever you want, and go wherever you please. But there’s just one thing standing in your way: you don’t have a car. So you decide to get one. Simple enough. However, buying your first car is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and, as a significant investment, can often trip up those who haven’t done their homework first. Here’s what you need to consider before buying your very first set of wheels.


For most people buying their first car, this is one of the biggest factor that affects the vehicle they eventually opt for. Make sure you take into consideration all car finance costs, not just the price of the car. These include:

  • Car insurance;
  • Road tax;
  • fuel
  • maintenance.

However, if you’re buying an older car, then reliability will be key. After all you don’t want to put all your hard earned cash into something that just keep breaking down & costing you money to get it back on the road.


Insurance plays such a big part in the purchase of a car that it deserves its own section. This will be your biggest outlay once you’ve paid for your car. Recent research by AA found the average cheapest premium for comprehensive cover stands at £1,034 a year in the UK. However insurance for young drivers can be many times that amount. Think about what kind of insurance you need. Types include:

  • third-party – this type of insurance is the legal minimum requirement for driving in the UK, covering you if damage a vehicle, property or a person;
  • third-party fire and theft – this covers you for the above, as well as if your car is damaged by fire or stolen;
  • fully comprehensive – this covers you for all of the above, but usually also includes insurance for accidental damage, equipment (such as sat navs) damaged or stolen from within the car and insurance to drive other vehicles.

Bear in mind that many factors affect the cost of your specific insurance premium, including but not limited to:

  • your age;
  • your location;
  • your driving experience;
  • gender;
  • vehicle type;
  • vehicle colour;
  • occupation.

It’s worth looking for policies that are tailored to new drivers. As long as you can work within the limitations they set they can often save you large amounts on money.

Make and model

Without doubt one of the most important things to consider is what exactly you’re planning on using your car for. Is it a simple A-B motor you’re after? If so, you might want to think about getting a small car with a small engine. Or are you going to need it for regular long journeys? If that’s the case, you could buy with a car with a good fuel economy and a slightly larger engine, especially if you’re wanting to use it on motorways. Are you going to be loading up with shopping, sports equipment or other bulky items? A big boot should be near the top of your priorities. Do you need to accommodate a family? Look at models that are going to keep the kids comfortable. Researching the market and finding out the pros and cons of cars that are within your budget is essential if you want to make the right purchase. Similar cars can often have very different insurance groups, which could cost you large amounts of money. Also the cost of fuel is a large concern for driver’s today, so ensure your happy you can afford to run your new pride and joy.

Inspections and documents

Once you have narrowed down your choices and found a few cars that fit into your budget, you need to go and check them out before making a firm decision and parting with your hard-earned cash. There is a great deal to look out for at this stage, and for some people it can be overwhelming. Taking a friend or member of the family who knows a thing or two about cars is a good tip, and will help you make sure the price is right. Just some of the important things you need to inspect are:

  • bodywork;
  • mileage;
  • tyres;
  • under the bonnet;
  • handbook;
  • V5C registration document;
  • MOT certificates;
  • service history.

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