Buying a car is a huge decision and a big investment, so it’s important to do some checks – especially when buying second hand. There are lots of costs to consider and you need to work out what type of vehicle meets your needs. Most of all you want to make sure that the car you buy is safe and reliable, and secondly you want to make sure you’re not getting ripped off.
Here are some guidelines for buying your first car. It’s an exciting time but can also be overwhelming, so the best piece of advice is not to rush into anything you’re not 100% sure about. Many people view and test drive a number of cars before making a decision.
Take a family member of friend
As it’s your first time buying such a huge investment, it’s a good idea to take a family member with you – preferably one who knows a good deal about cars. That way if you feel pressured or need an extra opinion, you’re not alone.
Do some research
Before you go to see the vehicles it’s a good idea to know what you want and what you expect to pay. Research different vehicles and find a few models that meet your needs and your budget requirements. Read car reviews for the pros and cons of each model and you can even use online valuation tools to check the price being offered is fair.
Check the mileage
If you’re buying a second hand car rather than a brand new model, you need to take into account the miles on the clock. One reason is it will affect the value of the car, so you don’t want to be overcharged for a vehicle which is worth less. Secondly, consider how the mileage will affect you in the long run. If you won’t be making any long journeys then it’s probably fine to buy a car with high mileage as a run-around – but if you have a long commute to work you may find the car won’t last as long as you’d like.
Check the insurance cost
There are lots of motoring costs to consider when buying a car in addition to the vehicle itself. The biggest cost is probably your insurance premium, and this can change depending on which car you drive. If you’re buying your first car then expect to pay a high price to insure it, but hopefully the price should decrease each year if you don’t make a claim. Before committing to any vehicle it’s a good idea to get an insurance quote.
If you’re buying from a second hand dealer then you should always ask to see the service history. You want to know that the vehicle has been well looked after, including MOT certificates and proof of annual servicing or any repair work that has already been done.