If you’re considering buying your first car, congratulations! Chances are you’ve spent a whole lot of time and effort passing your test and you’ve finally achieved your goal of securing a full driver’s licence! Seeing as we’re in the midst of a pandemic now too, you’ll find that having your own vehicle and being able to drive independently on public roads could make all the difference to your day to day life, allowing you to avoid public transport and minimise your chances of picking up or spreading coronavirus and Covid-19. Now, if you’re buying a car, you do have a pretty big decision on your hands. When it comes down to it, a car tends to be the second largest investment you make in your life – the first generally being accommodation. So, it’s not all too surprising that we’d advise that you put a fair amount of time and effort into making this decision. Here’s some guidance to help you along the way!
Before considering any car, you’re going to have to figure out what your budget allows. We should all live to a budget. This will let you know your total income after tax, other necessary payments and essential outgoings (like rent or mortgage payments, energy, water, food and outstanding debts). The money you’re left with after paying everything you need for the month is your disposable income and you need to make sure that your car doesn’t exceed this amount and that you have enough left over to do the other things or buy the other things you’d like to buy each month. This will ensure that you don’t overspend and end up in debt. Remember, when budgeting for a car, that you don’t only need to consider the monthly cost of the car itself. You also need to factor in costs such as car insurance, road tax, fuel, MOT and servicing and maintenance costs using services like Cars Protection Plus.
Choosing a Make and Model
Once you have a budget and know how much you can plan to spend on your car, it’s time to start looking around. The main decision you’ll have to make is what make and model of vehicle you’d like. Of course, you’re going to have to look for makes and models that fall within your budget. Chances are your decision will be based largely on aesthetic and practicality too – if you have kids, a two seater sports car probably isn’t high on your list of choices. Other factors should be considered too – safety features, number of doors (three doors tend to be fine for people who often travel alone or with one passenger, but people with kids will generally need five doors), storage space and more. The best car for you will depend entirely on your personal circumstances.
New or Used?
A final decision to make is whether you want a new vehicle or a used vehicle. Sure, new is nice. But it’s worth bearing in mind that you will lose thousands as soon as you drive it, as it automatically becomes “used”. Many people opt for “almost new” cars in good condition from a reputable dealership.
This really is a big decision to make, so don’t rush it. You’ll find the car that ticks all of your boxes with a little time, thought and searching!