So - you have finally passed your test, you are ready to buy your very first car and your excitement is building for the freedom that will come with that.
You have probably been dreaming of this day, picturing yourself cruising around in a brand new Mercedes or perhaps you have set your sights even higher and see yourself in a Lamborghini. But the reality is, driving is very expensive and after you have initially paid for the car, you then have ongoing costs including MOT, tax, insurance, petrol and unexpected trips to the garage. And the truth is, you probably couldn’t afford the insurance on these cars, let alone the car itself.
But remember this is your first car – those fancy ones can wait. What you need now is a reliable and affordable vehicle that will get you from A to B.
Don’t buy the first one you see!
Your desperation to be on the road could mean you buy the first car you see, but while this may get you on the road quicker, it could end up being incredibly costly if you find problems further down the line. You have waited 17 years; you can wait a little bit longer.
Do your research
Once you have found the one you want to buy, research it first – does it have all the required paperwork? Does it have any issues? You also need the V5C document, so you can tax it and it is important to check the MOT history, which you can do here.
Your dream car could quickly become a nightmare, if you don’t carry out a few simple checks.
Consider all the costs involved
Different cars come with slightly different costs, so it is important to take this in to account. The initial cost of the car is just the start – you need to consider whether you can afford to not only buy it but continue to run it.
Which model best suits your needs?
There are plenty of articles out there that advise on the best cars for first time drivers – which will inform you of all the costs involved, as well as both the pros and cons. Your biggest concern as a first time driver should be safety – the higher the Euro NCAP rating, the safer the car.
You don’t have to own it…
If you pass your test as soon as you are able to money is likely to be tight, you are still at school and perhaps you don’t even have a part time job. This can make buying the car difficult, let alone affording the costs that follow. But did you know you can get a car without buying it outright?
You could lease a car instead – this way there is no need to save up for a car, you avoid the maintenance and MOT costs and you can enjoy a new car every few years.
Take a look at LeaseCar to get an idea of the vehicles on offer to you.
Take it for a test drive
Always take a car for test drive before you even consider buying it. You need to make sure you feel both safe and comfortable behind the wheel.
You may want to test drive a few models so you can get a feel for what you like and understand, and therefore compare the differences between them.
When test driving one you might buy, make sure you do a few checks at the same time – it may look perfect on the outside, but you don’t want to get half way home only to discover an odd noise that turns out to be a mechanical problem.