Buying your first car! Tips and Advice from Logbook Loans
Do you need quick cash to buy your first car?
So the big day has arrived and you are going to choose your first car! There are so many makes and models to choose from – and friends and family are probably all giving you conflicting advice! So how do you make that all-important decision about which car to buy, to make sure that it is the right one for you?
Here are our Seven Steps to finding the right car for you!
- How much do you have to spend? The burning question! You may have big ideas for your car but be prepared to revise these when you see what is available in your price range. It is better to have a smaller and more basic car that is newer and better quality than the flashier car you have perhaps been dreaming of! Remember this is your first car and there will be many others to follow. So look online and in car dealerships and browse for something you like and can afford. If there is really nothing that you like in your price range then your alternative would be to wait a little while longer and do everything you can to make some quick cash to save up for the one you really do want.
- Can you afford the running costs? Another thing to be aware of when you get your first car is that the expenses don’t end with just buying the car. You will need to spend money each month on running and maintaining a car. The largest outgoing will be for insurance, and some cars are more expensive to insure than others. So it is important to make some enquiries before you buy your car as to what the insurance premium is likely to be. Similarly you will need to pay road tax on your car and the price of this varies according to the size of the car so check that out as well.
- Fuel consumption – Another ongoing cost of a car is fuel. Decide whether you want to have a petrol or diesel car, and research which models of car are the most economical in terms of fuel consumption. This can make a big difference to your monthly outgoings, particularly if you are going to use your car regularly to travel to work or college.
- Automatic or manual? Another big decision is whether to buy an automatic or manual car. If you have learned on an automatic car and your licence is only for automatic cars, then you can only drive an automatic car so the decision is made (however you can later upgrade your licence by passing a driving test in a manual car). But if you have learned on a manual car you can drive either, so do look at both to decide which you prefer.
- Reliability – Do your research to see which are the most durable and reliable car brands. Read car reviews posted by real drivers to get honest impressions. When you are narrowing down your choice it is essential to get the car thoroughly checked. So take someone with you who knows a lot about cars and if possible have a professional check (for example AA or RAC) of the car as well.
- Comfort – Make sure you sit in the car to ensure that you will have complete visibility and are able to reach all the controls to be able to drive the vehicle confidently. If there is anything that does not feel right and can’t easily be changed then perhaps it is not the best car for you. Don’t be over-influenced by gadgets and gizmos in the car – it is better to have a more basic car that is easy and safe for you to drive than one that has lots of extras but the essential controls are more awkward for you to reach.
- Drive! It is essential that you drive a car before buying it! Even if you are happy with all the above factors, nothing beats actually driving the car. Think about the most frequent journeys you will have to do and make sure that you try driving the car on similar types of road. Do not buy the car if you are not happy behind its wheel. Also bear in mind that when you do get the car it would be good to seek some additional support at first to build confidence in your driving. For example you could do your first long drives with an experienced driver as a passenger, or perhaps consider some additional driving lessons such as the Pass Plus scheme. Some insurers may offer lower premiums for completing the Pass Plus course.
But the story doesn’t end there! It is important that once you have your car you maintain it properly. Not only will this keep your car in top condition and safe for you to drive, but it will also preserve it as a valuable asset. Whether you plan to keep your car for years or sell it as soon as you can afford a newer model, the better the condition the stronger your position will be.
Owning a car can also unlock more financial opportunities for you, for example if for any reason you need quick cash you would be able to take out a logbook loan using your car as security. So for all kinds of reasons, keeping your car in top condition is a must!
So be wise and make the right decision to get your very best first car: you will never have another one!