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Top tips for first-time car owners7th April 2014
Searching for your very first car may represent a daunting prospect at first, but knowing what to look out for and some of the factors to consider will make the process all the more easier.
You’ll want something that performs well enough to help you with gear changes and hill starts, but not something with so much powerful that it causes your insurance premiums to hit unaffordable heights. You may also wish for your car to look the part, although flashy vehicles tend to cost more money.
It’s these dilemmas that keep you wandering around the showroom like a headless chicken. Though if you consider the following, you won’t go far wrong…
Having a vehicle that sips at your fuel rather than guzzling it all at once could save you tens of pounds every single month. First-time car owners put fuel economy high in their list of priorities as they get to grips with the cost of motoring, and so should you.
Some cars look incredibly easy to drive, yet it’s only when you take them out for a test drive that you realise this is far from the case. Never assume that small means good handling and smooth gear changes. Be sure to take up any offers of a test for your vehicle and see whether it suits your driving style.
First-time buyers tend to go for relatively cheap vehicles as they might be scared about damaging something newer, but this all depends on the skill of the driver. If you’re purchasing a car after getting sick and tired of driving your parents’ vehicle around for the last year, you could easily go for something worth over £5,000. A newly passed driver may not be as comfortable on the road, so they might opt for a cheaper selection.
Just remember that going for something inexpensive isn’t always the best route to take. You don’t want to be replacing your ‘new’ vehicle after two months because it’s bitten the dust, and a pricier vehicle may have lasted longer.
Don’t forget security
If you’re investing in an older car, it’s likely that your security features won’t be up to the same standards as some of the latest vehicles on the market. It might be wise to consider additional pieces of kit to boost the security of your vehicle, like tracking software for pinpointing its whereabouts.
This may also save you money on your insurance, as brokers like to see you’re making steps to improve your car’s safety.
Last but not least, if you’re buying a used vehicle, ensure it comes complete with all the necessary documentation. Ask the seller to hand you a copy of the service history manual and the user handbook for you to check that everything’s in working order.
You may also wish to run a background check on the vehicle to allay any suspicions of it being stolen. You can check a car’s history through the DVLA’s very own online database or a similar tool. At the very least, this will give you peace of mind after you’ve eventually got your hands on the keys.