Buying a car is a nerve-wracking experience – after all, why should you know what to look for? It can be really confusing with all the different options that are out there and unfortunately too many people make the wrong decision through lack of experience and end up paying the price. If you are on the lookout for your first car then it’s really important that you start educating yourself on what makes a good car. Don’t be impressed by flashy colors or big brand names – the most important thing of all is the engine. When the time comes to go and look for your new car, always take someone along with you who knows a little more, and have a mechanic check it over before you commit to buying it. Here is our guide to choosing your first set of wheels:
Your first concern should always be safety. Faulty cars are death-traps and you need to know what to look out for. For example, have a look at the tires – is there plenty of tread left on them? If not, they will likely be illegal, and if you drove with them and broke suddenly you would skid and lose control of the car. The tires are what help the car grip onto the road, so they need to be in good order. On top of the tires, make sure the car has airbags and that it has a good reputation safety (you can read up online).
Check the Insurance Premium
Unfortunately, young and inexperienced drivers quite often get clobbered with massive insurance premiums. Before you buy a car, phone around some insurers and get a quote. You’ll be surprised at how much they differ, so always get at least three or four quotes. This will give you an idea as to whether or not you are going to be able to afford to keep up the premium payments. Generally, the smaller the engine, the lower the premium will be, and you will also get more favorable rates if the car has additional security features such as an alarm and an immobilizer.
Can You Afford It?
When shopping for a car, set a budget that you can realistically afford and stick to it. Don’t tempt yourself by going to see cars that are out of your price range. If you have a lump sum set aside for the car then that’s great, but if not then you will need to apply for a loan from a bank or other lender, so make sure you know what the repayment conditions are. You will also need to factor in how much the car is going to cost you to run, so choose one that is economical on fuel.
Most first-time car buyers are on a budget and therefore buy a second hand car. This will not be without it faults, so always make sure a trained mechanic checks it over and points out any areas of concern before you buy it. A used car won’t be perfect, but it should be safe and there shouldn’t be any big maintenance jobs to do any time soon.