How to buy your first car the smart way!

Your first car needs to be affordable, safe, and reliable because if not, it can cost you in the long run! Buying your first is a rite of passage for many and can be a really exciting time. But, before you get carried away with choosing your car, there are a few points you can think about to help make the process easier and save you money.


How to buy your first car

Set a budget for your first car.

Firstly, you should consider how much you can afford to spend on a car. This may be in the form of a lump sum when buying with cash or a monthly instalment price. Whichever way you choose to fund your next car, you should set a realistic and affordable budget and try not stray from it. Selling yourself short when buying a car can lead to a worse financial situation in the future, especially if you’re missing car finance payments.


Explore used cars.

Newly qualified drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident in their first year of diving due to their lack of experience, for this reason it’s probably not the best idea to get a brand-new car on finance. A used car can cost less to repair and to buy so they can be perfect for first time drivers. Its recommended you only buy a second-hand car from a reputable dealer though to reduce the risk of something going wrong in the future.


Increase your credit score.

When you’re young, you may have a low credit score due to no previous credit history or lack of borrowing. If you’re planning on buying your first car on finance, your credit score plays an integral part.  Your credit score can affect your likelihood of being approved and also affects the interest rate you could be offered. Lenders set higher interest rates for people with bad credit as they are usually a higher risk to lend to.


Consider saving a deposit for finance.

If you can’t afford to buy a car outright with cash, you may want to spread the cost with car finance. There are many cars on finance with no deposit to pay but having a deposit to put down at the start of your deal can be beneficial. A deposit reduces the loan amount and helps to make car finance more affordable. If you’re struggling to get approved for finance with bad credit, a deposit could also help you get accepted for finance, but it is never guaranteed.


Research running costs.

It’s a common mistake to only focus on how much your first car is going to cost you to buy but you also need to factor in running costs too. All cars in the UK need to have a valid insurance policy in place before they can be driven on the roads and insurance costs can be at their highest for first time drivers. It can be worth finding a car which is cheap to insure to help keep costs low and also one which provides low fuel costs too.


Check the cars history.

If you do choose to buy a used car, it can be helpful to check the car’s history to get a clearer idea of its background. You can do this for free by using the DVLA website and get access to things like its MOT status and previous history. Buying a second-hand car from a dealer also gives you more protection as a buyer because you are covered under the Consumer Credit Act if anything should be wrong with the vehicle when you buy it.


Test drive for at least 30 minutes

One of the best tips for test driving a car you want to buy is to take the vehicle out for at least 30 minutes. It can be scary test driving a car when you’ve only just passed your driving test but it’s important the car you buy is comfortable and fit for purpose. Whilst on the test drive, you should drive on different types of roads, check you can sit comfortably and have access to all the controls. You should also take some time to park up in a safe place and check over the vehicles condition.


Don’t be scared to haggle!

Just because you’re buying your first car doesn’t mean you’re not in a position to haggle the price. The easiest way to haggle is to check other like for like cars from local dealers and see how much their selling for. If the cost is lower, you could dangle this carrot to your dealer to try get a lower price. All going well, the dealer will agree in order to get the sale from you.




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