Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Guide For First Time Car Buyers

If you have just ripped up your L plates in delight at passing your test – congratulations! You probably realise that your life is about to be transformed, since a driving licence brings with it a great deal of freedom and a host of possibilities. Driving is, however, expensive. Buying a duff car will make it more expensive still (or worse, dangerous), so it is important that you buy your first car carefully. Hopefully this short guide will make that task a little easier.

Where to buy?
Most new drivers are wary of buying their first car, and in an ideal world would purchase a brand new vehicle with a full guarantee, from a franchised dealer. In many ways this is the safest introduction to car buying, but it is out of the financial reach of many new drivers. New cars cost a great deal, and most people who have just passed their test will already have a high insurance premium to contend with. So for most, the only way to buy their first car is by purchasing second hand.

Of course, many franchised dealers do sell second hand cars, so they are worth a visit. You may be able to purchase an extended warranty or organise a deal on servicing with a franchised dealer, and their `official` nature means that your legal and financial rights are likely to be respected. Even so, it is a good idea to take along a friend or relative who knows about cars, when you go to look at vehicles and negotiate any purchase.

Independent car dealers generally sell cars more cheaply than their franchised counterparts, and while they may not be in a position to offer deals on warranties and servicing (although some may), independent dealerships often yield great bargains. Make sure you choose your dealer carefully, getting personal recommendations if you can, and once again it is a good idea to go to the dealership with somebody who really knows about cars.

Auctions can provide great bargains, but also some very dodgy motors indeed. In addition, you may have less financial or legal comeback if you have problems with an auction-bought car. Approach with caution, and do not even think of buying your first car at auction unless you have an extremely knowledgeable person there with you.

Ensure quality
Wherever you find your first car, make sure it is safe and legitimate. As a new driver you will have enough to do, getting used to driving and increasing your confidence. You really do not want to worry about the safety of your car, or whether anybody will be chasing you for outstanding finance on it, as well. Always check over any potential purchase very carefully, and consider getting a comprehensive inspection performed by a qualified person, such as a mechanic. Reputable and franchised dealers will have no problem with your doing this, and you should be concerned if they seem unenthusiastic when you suggest it. It is a very good idea to get the financial and legal background of the vehicle checked: organisations such as the AA offer this service. As a final note, do remember that as a new driver your risk of accident is much higher than that of more experienced drivers, so do go for a car that has as many safety features as possible, and make sure that you can afford to insure it before you pay the deposit!

Buying a car