If you have never owned a car before, you won’t necessarily know what to look for when you head to the car showrooms. Perhaps you have only just passed your driving test, you have lived in a city so haven’t needed a car, or maybe you have relied on public transport to get you from A to B. If you have now decided to take the plunge and own your very own set of wheels, the chances are that you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by just how many cars are available.
You could choose to show off your green credentials and opt for one of the newer hybrid models. Or perhaps you’re tempted to drive a brand-new vehicle away from a forecourt. Or maybe, you just want a reliable and cheap motor that won’t break down on you. No matter what your priorities are when it comes to vehicle ownership, there are some non-negotiables that you will always need to consider to ensure that you don’t end up with a lemon. Read on to find out how you can navigate the realm of car ownership successfully.
While it’s tempting to go for a brand-new vehicle, the moment you drive it away from the forecourt, it will have depreciated in value. Instead, go for a top-quality used car for your very first set of wheels. Don’t consider buying privately as you will buying sold as seen. Go for a reputable used car dealer and you will receive three months warranty. If anything goes wrong with the car in the first ninety days of you owning it, you can return it to where you bought it from, and they will fix it free of charge.
Used cars afford you much more choice and are cheaper than their new equivalents. A decent used car should give you a good few years of motoring. Look out for a vehicle that has low mileage and that is a lower insurance group. As a newbie car owner, you won’t have acquired insurance before, meaning that you won’t have any no claims bonus. This means your insurance costs will be higher than most. Stick to a basic motor initially and you can build up your no claims while buying cheaper insurance.
Most people want a car that won’t cost them the earth and will not have any ridiculous running costs. Don’t choose some obscure foreign make and stick to the tried and tested and popular models of car. If something does ever go wrong with your car, it’s important that you can head somewhere like Odin Auto Parts to pick up the gasket, light fitting or electrical component that you need with ease and for a decent price. Then all you need to do is find someone to fit it.
Buying a car that has low maintenance costs is vital. You also want a motor that runs cheaply. If you are tempted to buy a used SUV but soon realise that it guzzles gas like it’s going out of fashion, you will find that you are spending shedloads of money at the petrol pump. Instead, opt for a car that runs at least forty miles to the gallon. This way, your fuel costs will be kept to a minimum.
When you head to a forecourt or showroom, you must make sure that you try before you buy. There’s nothing worse than driving away a car only to hear a rattle as you park up on your drive. Instead, take a knowledgeable pal with you, and test drive the car that you like the look of. The dealer will come with you, but should remain quiet, allowing you to listen to the engine. If you hear anything that doesn’t sound right, ask about it. If you don’t like the answer, walk away.
You also need to test drive a car to see if you like driving it. You need to enjoy driving the vehicle that you buy. Do you like the way it accelerates, how it handles and are you comfortable in the driving seat? Take all of these factors into account before you part with your cash.
When considering what car to buy, you need to think about your lifestyle and buying a motor that is fit for purpose. If you have a young brood in tow, the chances are that you want a safe motor to protect your kids should a collision ever occur. Check out the Euro NCAP website to look at the safety ratings and tests of any car you like the look of.
If you use a car only for inner city driving, a small hatchback will be useful to navigate traffic and to park in the tightest of spots. For longer commutes and faster roads, a larger SUV that has exceptional fuel economy could be a wise choice. For those people who aren’t petrolheads, the most vital factor in choosing a car often ends up being the colour of it. However, don’t allow yourself to become seduced by the aquamarine metallic paint. Think more about the engine, the fuel economy and the reliability of a car. A car with a kooky paint job might look great on the road and turn heads, but you won’t enjoy it if it’s breaking down all the time and costing you a fortune to keep fixing.
If you are into more environmentally aware topics, a hybrid could be ideal. While they are more costly to purchase initially, they will pay for themselves in no time. With no need to refuel, you save on gas as they are powered with rechargeable batteries. They run and handle as well as any diesel-powered motor in the twenty first century, and they are fun to drive. Get behind the wheel of a hybrid, and you will be shocked at how quiet and reliable they are. Buying a hybrid also means being at the forefront of automotive technology. If you like being an early adopter, a hybrid like the Leaf, the Prius or the RAV4 could be the perfect way to show of your eco-friendly credentials. You’ll also never have to worry about taxing your car or forking out for congestion charge zones.
Buying your first motor can be daunting. However, follow this guide, and you will have a reliable set of wheels on your driveway in no time.
Photographs courtesy of motorverso.com