Buying a car is always a big deal, but it’s a particularly special occasion for first-time buyers. Whether you know everything about cars, or you are completely clueless, here’s a few tips you need to know about the buying process, and the ins and outs of owning a car.
When you first start looking around to purchase you next car you’ll probably have a rough checklist in your head. Most of the time heart wins over head, but it’s worth setting out the very basic you’ll accept. Leather, DAB Radio, USB input you know the like. A checklist goes hand in glove with a budget, but there are a few other thinks to take into account before heading out for a test drive.
Firstly, you should do some research into your preferred model; if you find that there are a lot of common faults it might be worth steering clear of those cars. A clear indicator of a cars reliability is whether or not you can still see the same model being driven on the road. If the vehicle is still commonly seen, it’s a good indicator that it has few design faults, and is cheap to maintain and insure.
If you’re buying a second-hand car, you also want to check the mileage. A fail-safe way to see if a car has covered a lot of miles is to check the shininess of the steering wheel. Hands leave an oily residue on the wheel, so the shinier the wheel is, the more the car has been driven.
Finally, you need to have your finances in order, especially if you’re buying brand new. Taking out a loan to purchase a car is easily done, but only if you have a really good credit rating. Fortunately, there are also options available for a refinance car loan with bad credit.
Check the car’s service history so you can see whether it has been well-maintained before you part with your cash. If you know the car has been well looked after, chances are you’ll have less faults with it in the future. Hopefully!
Once you’ve got the car, you need to make sure that you have the insurance to go with it. Some new drivers find black box insurance, in which the insurance company installs a box to monitor your driving, to be helpful, whereas others find it intrusive.
You also need to be sure that you’ve got the right kind of insurance: you need commuting or business insurance to be able to drive your car to work for example – and that’s before you enter into fully comprehensive or third party only insurance. It’s worth doing your research here!
It pays to have a good mechanic; one that you can trust to do the work to an excellent standard…and not to rip you off.
You can also save money by doing some repairs yourself. It’s also a good idea to have the number of a recovery firm, so that, if worst comes to worst, you can call someone to have you and your car recovered to a local garage for repairs.
Owner / Editor of Carwitter – French car fiend, hot hatch lover. Follow @car_witter