Four Tips for Buying Your First Car

Are you shopping for your first car? Since purchasing an auto is one of the most significant investments, you shouldn’t allow excitement and impatience to lead to a rushed decision.

The most crucial aspect of the shopping journey is not ending up with a lemon. After setting a budget, make a list of dealerships and private owners, check the car’s condition, and take it for a spin.

We hope the following tips for buying your first car will help you with your choice.


Set a budget

The inceptive step in buying your first car is setting a budget. It’s supposed to be flexible, but you should set a maximum price and stick to it. This price has to include all extras, such as insurance, stamp duty, registration, road tax, etc. Additionally, it’s of crucial importance for buyers to include the maintenance and running costs of the autos they wish to buy.

For instance, manual vehicles are more affordable than automatic models and require less money for servicing. Additionally, cars that run on petrol are more budget-friendly to purchase and service than diesel. The size of the vehicle plays an important role in pricing, as small autos are usually cheaper than sedans and wagons.

The long-term fuel cost is worth considering as well, as you’ll need fuel to drive anywhere. Although diesel vehicles are considered more fuel-efficient, these savings aren’t considered a major benefit, as diesel is costlier than gas. The ongoing maintenance costs should be considered as well, as some models are pricier to service than others.

Moreover, buyers should consider the most important features they look for in a car, such as safety, fuel economy, engine power, compactness, etc. The cost of the purchase isn’t the only thing that matters, as running costs should be considered as well. Read here about fuel economy statistics, energy considerations, standards, and testing procedures.


Dealers vs. private sale

After setting a budget, the following tip is to choose a place to buy the vehicle from. The majority of buyers purchase cars either from dealerships or private sellers. Dealerships offer new and used vehicles, providing warranties for both. When shopping for a brand new auto, buyers are recommended to inspect it visually prior to driving it off the lot. It’s important to report any scratch or ding while still at the dealership, as you won’t be able to prove it happened after leaving the lot.

Furthermore, car dealerships are the safest choice when buying a used auto. The law obliges licensed car dealers to provide buyers with warranties on the vehicles. Within the warranty period, the dealer is in charge of covering the repairs. Most dealers check the vehicles independently and follow the required codes of practice. They’re bound by law to sell used autos of satisfactory quality in terms of mileage, age, model, etc.

Additionally, each auto is supposed to meet legal requirements, perform all functions, and match the advert description. The largest part of dealerships offers finance, thus allowing buyers to pay for the car over time. Nevertheless, dealers aren’t held responsible for the damage caused as a result of misuse or accident, as well as due to wear and tear.

Private sellers, on the other hand, have no overhead, meaning they can sell their cars for significantly lower prices than dealerships. Nevertheless, they aren’t obliged to offer warranties to cover any repair if there is something wrong with the car. Buyers should be more cautious when purchasing a vehicle from a private seller, as they find it more difficult to prove there is something defective about the auto. Start by checking the paperwork and looking for details that don’t match.

In addition, the mileage should be consistent with the look and age of the vehicle. Make sure to inspect the paint finish to check whether panels look differently. Also, you should look in the trunk and under the bonnet for signs of rust and unusual welding. Check the tires for sufficient tread to see if you need to replace them in the near future. There should be a spare tire and toolkit in the trunk.

Seatbelts, lights, and wipers should function properly. The same goes for the windows, AC internal controls, locks, and radio. The best solution would be to hire a third-party mechanic to inspect the vehicle on your behalf and look for potential issues.


Take the car for a spin

After choosing a particular model, it’s time to take the car for a spin. If the dealer or private owner doesn’t let you test drive the vehicle, you should walk away. The test drive provides plenty of useful information about its performance. It’s essential to test the biting point of the clutch in order to make sure it doesn’t need a replacement.

While driving the car, make sure to assess its behavior during acceleration and listen out for any strange vibrations and sounds. Also, you should check the gear shift to see if the transmission is smooth. The brakes should be tested as well to see if braking is responsive or it requires plenty of pressure. You should also watch out for steering wheel vibrations.



Haggling is inevitable to ensure you are getting the best deal possible. Firstly, you should get an idea of the price you’ll be paying for the auto by using online valuation tools or buying guides to assist you. When shopping for a used car, you should always go in low but not lower than the bottom-range price of the model. This tactic allows sellers to negotiate up the price and feel in control.

If you happen to come across problems while inspecting the auto or test driving it, you can use these issues to reduce the price. You shouldn’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t seal the deal, as the power is always on the side of the buyer.


Final word

Your first car is a major investment, and it should be selected wisely!


Leave a Reply