Your first car (yay!)
Buying your first car is an exciting time but it can also be stressful and expensive too. It is important to make sure that you choose the right first car and that it is safe and affordable.
Everyone has their dream car but you need to be realistic. Your first car does not need to be very fast or powerful, consider buying a smaller car because the controls are lighter, parking is easier and insurance is cheaper. A smaller car also means that you use less fuel and will save money on petrol or diesel.
Know your budget
Before looking at potential cars, you need to figure out your budget. You should include the cost of insurance and road tax. You need to consider whether you want to buy a brand new car or a used car. There is no right or wrong answer; it purely comes down to personal preference and affordability. If you buy a used car you need to budget for servicing and maintenance as the car may have suffered some ware and tear. If the car is three years old or more you should also factor in the cost of an annual MOT.
Pre-owned or brand new?
If you do decide to buy a used car, recognised dealers are generally the safest route as you get the maximum legal protection with the least risk. Buying privately can save you money but you will not be protected legally if the car does not come up to scratch.
Car buyers wanting the highest level of safety should look for cars with a five star Euro NCAP rating, a vehicle safety rating system. At RED, our instructors teach in the Vauxhall Corsa which has a five star Euro NCAP rating. Many RED learners choose to buy a Vauxhall Corsa because they trust the car and really enjoy driving it.
Go for a test drive
Make sure you test drive the car to check that you like the feel of it, how it steers and that the brakes work properly. Buying a car is expensive so do not feel pressurised to buy on the spot and if you are unsure about the quality of the car you can get it checked out buy an expert first.
Once you find the right car, make sure you get a valid MOT certificate, road tax and insurance then you are good to go!