If you’ve just passed your driving test, there is a reasonable chance that you’re on the lookout for the perfect first car. You don’t want to make the wrong decision, and so the advice on this page is going to come in handy. Use the list of dos and don’t below to ensure you get the ideal automobile that is going to keep you happy and get you from A to B for the next couple of years. Of course, you will probably want to apply for finance and get a new model once you have some experience on the roads. However, until then, use this post to make sure you cover all the bases and don’t overlook anything critical. So, with all that in mind, let’s get down to business!
Do – Determine your budget and stick to it
Before you do anything else, it is crucial that you work out how much you can afford to spend on your first car. Never go over that budget because it’s not worth getting into debt for this vehicle. Official statistics prove new drivers are more likely to become involved in a smash than anyone else on the roads. While that doesn’t mean you’re going to end up in the hospital or anything that severe, it does suggest that you might bump the bodywork from time to time. That could cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to a brand new vehicle that’s just come off the forecourt. However, the same is not true if you decide to get something low-cost from the used market. Bear that in mind!
Don’t – Hand over cash before checking the history
Far too many first time drivers are overly keen to spend their money. Those people don’t seem to realize that it’s more than possible for them to waste their investment and throw their savings in the trash. Whatever happens and no matter how confident you feel about the vehicle; it is imperative that you never sign on the dotted line or hand over cash before you check the history. With a bit of luck, you will find cars that have a full-service history that highlights all the repair and maintenance work from the last few years. You can use the information in that pack to work out whether or not you’re getting a decent deal. You should aim to avoid anything that’s had a new engine or any other significant repairs.
Do – Take a mechanic along for viewings
Even if you don’t have a friend trained in mechanics, it’s still sensible to visit your local garage and ask if they can spare someone for half an hour. In most instances, you will have to pay a small fee for that service. However, employing the professionals to take a look at any vehicle you plan to purchase is not going to break the bank, and it could prevent you from wasting your money. So, make sure you always take a mechanic along to any vehicle viewings. People in that profession know what to ask the sellers and how to tell if they’re trying to pull the wool over your eyes. The mechanic will take a look under the hood and check the engine before letting you know how much they think the car is worth. Never go against the advice of your mechanic.
Don’t – Buy before getting an insurance quote
Lots of first-time buyers make the mistake of investing in a vehicle before they contact insurance companies to get a quote. That is a terrible idea because there is a reasonable chance the insurance policy could cost more than the price of the car. That is especially the case if you go for something with a substantial engine or a sports model. While you might pay somewhere in the region of $1000 for your first runaround, some insurers might charge you more than $2000 per year to keep that vehicle on the roads. That is because new drivers are more likely to become involved in a crash than anyone else. So, it is always wise to opt for a small engine and a car that most thieves won’t want to steal.
Do – Ask for extras or discounts
One of the best things about buying cheap vehicles from second-hand car dealers is that you can usually ask them to sweeten the deal with some optional extras or discounts. If you don’t ask the seller; you will never know if they’re willing to do such a thing. So, make sure you mention that the car needs some new footwell mats and things like that. You could also tell the dealer you’re willing to purchase right now if the vehicle comes with a full tank of gas. You get the idea, right? Try to think of anything that will mean you get better value for money than you otherwise would have done. When all’s said and done, the dealer wants to sell you the vehicle more than you want to purchase it. Use that fact to your advantage!
Don’t – Forget to go for a test drive
If you buy a car without going for a test drive; you’re asking for trouble. At the very least, you need to drive the car around the block a few times to make sure it works as you expect. However, for the best results from a test drive, it’s sensible to allow your mechanic to sit behind the wheel. People with expertise in that area can tell a lot about the condition of a vehicle from how it drives and feels. There is a decent chance your mechanic will discover any issues or faults and let you know about them straight away. In some instances, dealers are less than enthusiastic about allowing you to take a test drive. In those instances, let the seller know you never spend money on cars without one.
Do – Look for the best deals
Sometimes visiting used car dealers in your local towns and cities is not the best way to find the lowest prices on your first car. The people who operate companies from those forecourts have significant overheads, and so they will never let you find a bargain. However, the same is not true when you take a look at online sellers who may list their vehicles on auction websites like eBay. Be sure to check sites like that because there are usually some fantastic deals that could help you to save a fortune. There are lots of people who use auction websites to get rid of their old car when they buy something new. Those people aren’t too bothered about raising a lot of cash. They only want the car out of their driveway.
Don’t – Be afraid of walking away
Whatever happens when you go to view vehicles for sale; ensure that you’re willing to walk away at any moment. Do not become tied to any cars before you know all the ins and outs because that would encourage you to make the wrong decisions. The appearance of your first car matters little. You just need something that will get you from A to B without breaking down or costing a fortune in fuel. So, make sure you are always ready to walk away from the deal if you discover issues with the model you select. You should also walk away if you think the seller is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Like it or not, there are lots of less than honest people out there who want your money. Don’t fall for their techniques!
Do – Research prices of that particular vehicle
The last thing anyone wants to do is spend $2000 on a car that is only going to be worth $500 in a few months time. If you wish to ensure you only purchase vehicles that hold their value, it’s sensible to conduct a lot of online research before you arrange any viewings. Look at the price history of each model and see if you can make accurate predictions about which ones are going to offer the best investment returns. While you won’t think too much about selling your first car right now, getting a decent price will become vital when the time comes to change the vehicle for something new. Nobody wants to throw their money in the trash, right? Think ahead, and do some research!
Now you know about all the dos and don’t of buying your first car; you should manage to avoid getting ripped off or buying something that is going to cost a small fortune to keep on the roads. Most people only keep their first vehicle for around twelve months at most. So, don’t stress too much if you can’t afford anything that looks attractive. At some point during the next couple of years, you will sell the car and get something brand new that is going to last for a long time. Your first car is just something to get you to work and back and help you to gain experience on the roads. Good luck!
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