The lowdown on buying your first car
Buying your first car is probably the greatest personal investment after buying a home. All the more wonder why more people are not exceptionally careful when making a decision around buying a car. There are several important considerations that should be made before you make the decision to buy a car.
New or Used?
It is common for the first time car buyer to assume that buying a car new is the way to go. Seasoned car owners will however tell you to weigh out the pros and cons of new vs. second hand cars before you rush to the local dealership of your favourite brand.
New cars do have the edge on certain advantages. To begin with we know that the car does not have a hidden history. With a new car there are advantages that are accepted as the norm. All new cars sold in the UK today will come with a three year warranty as standard. New cars do not require an MOT for the first three years of their life and it is highly unlikely that something major will go wrong within the warranty period as long as all the servicing that it needs is kept up to date and performed regularly. Newer vehicles are more efficient in respect of emissions and the knock on effect of that is that the road tax is often cheaper. Fuel efficiency itself is one of the first considerations an experienced driver will bear in mind too.
Buying A Used Car
Most people when buying their first car will buy a used car. Younger people often cannot afford a new car, whether purchased for cash or on finance. There are several other considerations too. The cost of insurance, the age of the driver, and maintenance costs.
Cars over three years old will almost certainly have had any factory bugs discovered and will have been repaired or replaced under the warranty. When buying a used car, it is a good idea to do a bit of research on any factory recalls for that particular model and then check whether the vehicle was taken in for the recall. In some cases, the previous owner may not have done it and the car retains the fault. Factory recalls have expiry dates so if the car was not returned during the recall period the new owner will most likely not be able to have a potential fault covered for replacement or repair.
The decision to buy a second hand car also lies within the context of affordability. Cars that are out of their warranty period will still have parts that are cheaper to replace because they can be sourced from suppliers aside from the main dealer. This automatically makes vehicle repairs cheaper. As the cost of the replacement of the car drops so does the baseline cost of insurance, although insurance costs will also be influenced by the age of the main driver, the age of the car and the postcode where the car is kept at night as well as whether the car is locked away or kept on a road.
Because insurance in the UK is compulsory, it is the bugbear of many. It automatically comes with owning a car and it is one of the most expensive related costs for many. New drivers and especially new drivers under 25 are tempted to insure their vehicles with an older and more experienced driver as the main driver. If you are the main driver, this practice is illegal and is called fronting.
Approaching the expensive insurance issue can be done differently. Buy a car from a cheaper insurance class. There are specialist young people policies in the same way that there are policies tailored for people of certain professions and even for women.
You may want to buy an extended warranty for the vehicle that you have purchased. This will usually cover parts and warranties for an additional number of years after the initial warranty has expired. This can reduce the cost of insurance on some policies.
Licence Age and No Claims
The longer you have held your licence without an insurance claim, the cheaper your insurance will become. The no claims bonus is one of the most prized aspects of an insurance policy and by being able to maintain this status, you will discover even as a young driver it will become an advantage.
The sooner you pass the test for your full UK licence, the sooner you will be on the path to an affordable asset that will make your life easier to live and offer the convenience that you never had before. You can even speed up the time frame to your practical driving test by signing up to a test cancellation and rebooking service that will find you a driving test sooner than the one that you have booked.