Guide to Buying Your First Car (Part 1)

23 February, 2022

There are people out there who can appreciate an excellent horse break power or slick adaptive cruise control and then they are…the rest of us.
‘Oh, that colour is nice. The inside smells fresh and wait, the best bit – there’s a coffee cup holder – SOLD.’

How do you choose a car that lasts and doesn’t cost you more in repairs than what you bought for it?
If you’re a complete newbie to the world of motors and don’t know where to start, we’ve compiled the eight main steps to buying your first car.

1. Decide overall budget

It may seem obvious, but of course the very first step is setting a defined budget and sticking to it. (Yes, we know the cruise control
and rear parking aid is cute, but ask yourself if you need to spend the extra 6k?). Don’t make the mistake of looking for cars then
seeing if you can fit your budget into your dream model. Make a suitable model fit into your budget.

One thing to also remember is the car expense each month – make sure your budget includes money for petrol, tax, NCT and the
general upkeep of the car too. See how much money you have saved, how much you make each month – and of course a car loan can
always help you along the way also.

2. Make a list of what you will use your first car for

This list will help you determine the car’s make and model.

  • Will you use it for college/work/just social reasons?
  • Will you be covering a lot of miles in it?
  • Will you be driving in country or city mostly?
  • Will you be parking in tricky spaces with it?
  • Do you need extra space for anything?
  • Do you want to resell it in a couple of years or hand it down?

3. Decide on the car brand

This is the top level decision based on the needs you just defined. Are you using it for distance? City parking? Space? Pick a brand
that will fit your needs – If you’re not going to be using the car that much, just nipping around the city/town every now and then, a
small car with average mileage will do.

If you’re going to be using it for long distances over questionable roads, a more sturdy brand
with low mileage could work. Some car brands are known for their reliability, safety and good resale value.

Ascertaining what brand work best in different situations comes from looking online at what each car brand promises – most of
your research will be online at this stage.

4. Decide on the car model

The model then is the next step – once you’ve chosen your car brand, this choice will also be based on your list above. Here, you will
be looking out for specific features of the car – braking, parking, space etc.

You can check which models will suit your needs by researching their websites, and the brand’s promise online.
This is top level research, so do ask family and friends how they would describe their car to build up a picture of the different brand promises of each one.

Tune in next week for part 2!