Whether you’ve recently gotten your driver’s license or have been waiting a while before buying your first car, there’s never as much uncertainty surrounding buying a vehicle as the first time that you do so. Being a good first-time car buyer requires a lot of research and learning, and while it’s not easy to make sure that you’re making the right choice, it definitely pays off once you get on the road.
With so many new or used cars to choose from along with options such as car leasing or financing, it can be difficult to narrow your choices down when you’re looking for your first set of wheels. So, we’ve put together some top tips to help make the process an easier one.
Tip #1. Work Out Your Budget:
Before you head out to look at cars for sale at your local Fiesta Kia dealership, it’s important to make sure that you have a firm budget in mind. It’s a good idea to look for a car that’s priced a little lower than your entire budget; this way, you can have some spare cash in the bank to use for insurance, car repairs, and anything else that you might need. If you are planning to purchase a car in full, then you will need to work out how much you can comfortably afford to pay in one go. However, if like most car owners you are planning to pay in monthly instalments for your vehicle, you’ll need to determine how much you can realistically afford each month alongside all your other living expenses. Don’t forget that you’ll also need to factor in the cost of auto insurance and gas!
Tip #2. Engine Size:
If you have recently passed your driver’s test or are a young driver, then you can usually expect to pay more for auto insurance on your first car. Driving without insurance is against the law, so if you want to get on the road, then there is no way of getting around this fee. However, there are many things that you can do to keep the cost of insuring your vehicle low. One of the best ways to do this is to opt for a car with a small engine. The smaller the engine, the less powerful the car will be – which may not be great for you if you want to race on the highways, but will certainly keep your insurance premiums down as low as possible.
Tip #3. Do Your Research:
Unfortunately, buying a car doesn’t always go to plan. As a first-time car buyer, you are likely to be inexperienced when it comes to what makes a good vehicle, so you’re at a higher risk of being ripped off, or ending up with a car that turns out to be unsafe to drive. This is especially true if you are planning on purchasing a used car; this can be a great way to save money on your purchase, however, there’s more room for things to go wrong when a car has been pre-owned. Before you commit to buying, it’s a good idea to do as much research as possible into the dealer that you plan to buy from, and into the background of the particular car that you’re interested in, if possible. You can purchase vehicle background checks for a small fee; this will show you whether a car has been involved in any road traffic accidents and the kind of damage that was sustained. You’ll also be able to find out if a car has been reported as stolen.
Tip #4. Know What to Look For:
When you have never bought a car before, turning up to check a potential new purchase out can be very daunting, especially if you don’t really know what you’re looking for. For this reason, it’s also a good idea to take somebody more experienced along with you – perhaps a relative or a friend who has experience in purchasing cars, or even a trained mechanic, if you know any! Knowing the key things to keep an eye out for will help you make the best choice. On the outside, you should be looking for any dents or bumps – these could cause a problem in the future by weakening the bodywork of your car. You should also check that all the lights and electrics are working; you can do this easily by switching them on from the driver’s seat while parked and walking around the car to check. Don’t forget to check the windshield wipers, too! Under the hood, you should make sure that the oil and water levels are correct, and that nothing seems ‘off’ – look out for anything that seems loose or out of place.
Tip #5. Take a Test Drive:
You wouldn’t buy a house without having a look around it first, so don’t purchase a car that you’ve haven’t taken out for a test drive. Some vehicles can look like they’re in perfect condition from the outside, however be aware that looks can be deceiving! Driving a car is often the only way that you are going to find out about any hidden issues with it. When purchasing from a car dealership, test drives are usually encouraged and the dealer will likely be able to provide you with insurance cover for the duration. While test driving, there are several things that you should look out for. Roll the windows down if possible; this will better allow you to listen out for any strange noises, or notice any unusual smells coming from the outside of the car. During your test drive, you should also make sure that the brake pedal is working properly; you can do this by finding a clear road and conducting an emergency stop. The brakes should respond immediately; if they do not then this could signify a serious problem. Don’t forget to also check the parking brake, and try to take the car to a high speed when possible to see how it performs.
Did these tips help you find your perfect first car? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.