Buying your first car

Firstly congratulations if you have just passed your test, well done. You’re probably now chomping at the bit to own your own car, so in this blog I will try to give some helpful advice on when, how and which, happy reading.


When to buy

A good time to buy cars is spring, simply because the new reg. plate comes out 1st March so people tend to be trading in at this time and garages will lower the prices of their cars to get them off the forecourt.



How to buy

As a 1st time buyer you may not have the cash in the bank so other options are available, you could take out a loan or contract purchase. The best and easiest way to finance your new car  (if you don’t have the cash and the bank of Mum/Dad is not an option) would be a bank loan, this will offer you the better rate of interest.



Leasing is also a viable option. You can opt. for personal contract leasing, this means you can have a new car but not actually own it and as long as you keep up the monthly payments you’ll receive a new car every few years. Another option is PCP, the main difference with personal contract leasing is at the end of the contract you will have the option to buy the car at the end of the lease period.

You may also want to consider higher purchase, you would usually pay an upfront deposit of around 10% of the car value then monthly payments including interest. Once the full amount has been paid, the car is then yours J (it’s also worth knowing, if you are able to leave a higher deposit the interest rate may be lower).

There are lots of places you go can go and look at cars for sale, newspapers, magazines, on line; search bargain motors….but this is not always the best way to buy. You need to take running costs and possible repair costs in to consideration, a friend of mine recently bought a certain Italian make of car and was then shocked to hear of the repair costs due to the cost of the parts, ask around, ask people who have owned cars for a long time, what is the best option for reliability and cost of repairs, I myself have had Vauxhalls for a long time and have never fainted in shock at the price of repairs.

You will also want to consider engine size. As a new learner you can expect you insurance to be quite a lot more expensive that a long term qualified driver, go for a smaller engine, this should keep the running costs and insurance lower.



Where to buy

There are loads of places you can buy cars, private sellers, car dealerships, auctions, even Ebay. Don’t buy the 1st car you look at and MAKE SURE when you do find the right car you try to haggle the price down, dealerships and private sellers alike always add wiggle room in to the price.

Check it out!

One of the big factors in insuring the car is the security of the car, find out what security features it has in place i.e. alarm, immobiliser. The car should also have a service history manual and documentation. There should also be a V5, if it doesn’t have a V5 DO NOT buy it.

If you’re thinking of buying a car through auction or private seller, make sure you do a HPI check on it, the HPI checker checks you aren’t buying a car with outstanding finance and also that it’s not stolen.

click on this link to do a HPI check

Test Drive

It’s a good idea to take a car out on a test drive (make sure you are insured to do this) During the test drive find a speed bump or a particularly bumpy road, you will want to listen out for any rattles, bumps or scrapes, this could indicate expensive repairs.

Also check out the radio and other electrical extra’s i.e. windows etc. When changing gear pay attention to whether this is nice and smooth or difficult to select gear, this could indicate it will shortly need a new clutch/gearbox. Do an emergency stop to test out the brake pads as well .

Car safety

The accident statistic for young and inexperienced drivers are high and so it’s essential the car you choose is to a high safety standard, you can check the NCAP star rating here.


Arrghhhhh, that dreaded expense. Check before buying the car what it’s going to cost you to insure.

There\’s a number of web sites which offer free comparisons between one insurance company and another – Google will point you in the right direction – it\’s always worth shopping around.

Did you know Surepass sell cars?

Click here for cars for sale

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