As you’ve probably seen from the car spam on my Instagram stories last week (sorry not sorry), I recently bought my first car. Finding the right car for me took a lot longer than I thought it would and I highly underestimated the amount of research I’d need to do. It was all worth it in the end as I found a car which is perfect for me! As a new, young driver, it can seem daunting buying your first car, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learnt about car buying and how to find a car that’s right for you. I’m by no means a car buying expert, but hopefully some of these tips are useful if you’re searching for a first car!
1 – Choosing a model
I don’t know a lot about cars and I didn’t have a clue which model I really wanted. I knew that I wanted a small car that was easy to drive, with a small engine to keep my insurance low. To narrow down my search, I looked at reviews of small, city cars and managed to narrow it down to a Citroen C1, Peugeot 107 or Toyota Aygo, as these are all very similar models and recommended as good first cars. Looking at people’s reviews as well as the car’s features is the best way to narrow down the model of car you want to buy.
2 – Finding a garage
This was the part that took the most time, but on reflection I’m glad it did! I spent a lot of time trying to find the models of cars that I was interested in at garages in my area, for a price that was in my budget. Reading through the reviews of some garages ruled them out for me, and it took a while before I found a garage with a good reputation with a Citreon C1 for sale. I think it’s important to find a garage with a good, genuine online reputation for peace of mind in how they deal with their customer service.
3 – Prices
You’re likely to find two of the same car in two different garages at two completely different prices, which can be a little confusing. I found that speaking to the garage about the price gave me an idea of what was included. With my car, I had a new MOT and service included in the price, a good added extra which helped me to justify the cost. Also, I felt that I could trust the garage with its price, especially as they had sold the car before and knew of its history. They carried out a HPI check too and gave me a certificate to show everything was clear – something which is essential when buying a secondhand car.
4 – Be patient
This tip is something I really struggled with! It can be frustrating going through garage after garage and finding cars that are not quite right. I knew as soon as I saw my car that it was the right one for me, but I could’ve quite easily taken the plunge and bought another car that wouldn’t have been right. It’s a good idea to look everyday as new cars were always popping up in different places when I was searching.
5 – Make a decision
Think you’ve found the right car? Go and see it straight away and see if it meets your expectations. I saw my car and gave it a drive and knew right away that it was the one I was going to buy. I know I’d have been disappointed if someone else would’ve bought it, so it’s a good idea to make a decision as soon as you can to avoid missing out!