Buying a car – Checklist for buying your first car

June 15, 2022 by Zoe Hicks – 11 mins read

Are you considering buying a car? You must think well and it’s easy for you to get into trouble so you will need the recommendation in this information to make certain you make the proper decision. Our checklist can assist you in buying a car.

As with all huge decisions, it is the right decision to have anybody close by who is aware of a lot about cars.Read on to know the checklist for buying your first car.

What to do before buying a car?

Once you are aware of what you can afford, it’s time to determine how to get the best car for your life. Having the incorrect vehicle is nearly bad as having no vehicle at all. Take time to understand what vehicle makes the most sense. Here are simply a few matters to check:

  • How much seating do you need?
  • Gas, electric, or hybrid — which suits your needs?
  • Will you be driving in severe weather conditions?
  • What do you need most about your current car or different vehicles you have driven?

Which one – New car Vs. Used car?

The answer relies upon which methodology you follow. For some, purchasing a new car is absurd due to the fact it starts evolving dropping cost the second it hits the pavement; for others, purchasing for use is a waste of money due to the fact you are getting something that already desires more maintenance. If you don’t desire to purchase any other automobile for 10 years and you plan to take good care of what you buy, new might also be your best choice if you are searching for something that will get you via a subsequent couple of years while you save up to cross overseas, used to be perfect. The aim is to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and pick what works for you.

Which car to choose?

When buying a car choosing is a challenging decision. How will you decide on the best first car? Everything from the make, model, and body style plays a vital part. While these all immediately influence the upfront cost, they additionally affect what you will pay for insurance. Bigger automobiles are commonly greater high-priced to insure, whilst smaller automobiles are greater cost-effective. When buying a car you have to determine whether or not to purchase new or used. Your eyes would possibly be all over the fancy showroom models, however, there can be a big fee distinction between buying a new car and purchasing a used car. If you have set a price range for how a good deal you need to spend on a car, it’s vital to think about the value implications for each:

Buying a car- New: 

More highly-priced initial cost, alternatively you generally get at least a three years warranty, and matters are much less likely to go wrong.

Buying a car – Used:

Less highly-priced initial cost, then again no assurance that extra worn components would possibly want to be repaired. Particularly if you are purchasing a high mileage car, it’s essential to reflect on consideration on potential wear. When buying a car if you can’t decide, there’s additionally the choice to purchase an almost new one. Having been only gently used, almost all new automobiles can still be some of the most dependable cars, however higher priced. With a new car, you will have a guarantee and possibly even capped rate servicing – which means you understand precisely what you will spend over a particular period.

While buying a car it’s worth knowing your new car will depreciate at an extra fast rate. By the time you leave the showroom, your vehicle may also have misplaced up to 20% of its value. In comparison, buying a car-used vehicle will be a whole lot cheaper. But you may additionally no longer be certain of its records and may end up spending extra on ongoing charges such as servicing and tires. When buying a car it’s worth knowing what your country or territory motoring club says about your used car or asking anybody you have faith in to take a look. And make certain it is debt-free earlier than you buy. Regardless of whether or not you go for a new or used car, pick an automobile with a good reputation that will maintain its value. This will make daily usage and re-selling easier.

Where to buy your first car?

When buying a car you have to determine what you want, and where to purchase a car?


Buying from a dealership has been the most famous method for a long time. It affords the comfort of typically being nearby, and dealerships frequently cluster together, so you can without problems go to a few at a time. At a neighbourhood dealership, you have the comfort of viewing or checking the automobile as many instances as you like till you are sure.

Online Purchase

A technique turning more and more frequent is purchasing an automobile online. You don’t want to leave your home, and can even get your vehicle delivered to you. While this can be a good way to bag a bargain, it’s essential to take a look at it cautiously earlier than committing. You won’t be in a position to do a test drive of the car until you discover the identical model at a dealership nearby, so you prefer to be certain it’s the car for you. Reading reviews, and checking the site’s legitimacy will assist you to keep away from any vehicle scams.

Private Seller

When buying a car if you have decided on a used car, you can additionally purchase a car from a private seller. This is a top-notch way to get a decreased price, however, can be extra complicated. The automobile of your desires is not about to be provided by your neighbour, so you may have to travel to get it. Though it’s a minor inconvenience for some, it does suggest you may want to be touring some distance simply to see it for the first time.


If buying is proving too expensive or even a bit overwhelming, leasing is additionally a wonderful alternative for your first car. With leasing, you are no longer buying a car, you, in reality, pay off the price of depreciation of a manufacturer’s new car, and the month-to-month repayments are less than most finance deals. 

What questions to ask when buying a car?

  • What are the features?
  • What are the on-road costs?
  • How long is the assurance and is there capped charge servicing?
  • Are there any promotional offers?

What questions to ask when purchasing a used car?

  • How long have you had it and have there been different owners?
  • Do you have receipts for all work accomplished and full-service history?
  • How many kilometres has it been done?
  • What’s it used for?
  • Has it ever been in a crash?
  • Is there any debt on the car?
  • Can I inspect it? Can I test drive?
  • Check a used car’s MOT records first

Before viewing any car, ask the seller to supply the registration number and use the free online MOT records service to take a look at advisory objects or disasters that you may also prefer to pay close interest to. It will additionally furnish rough information on the car mileage and use patterns, such as long durations of disuse that may want to mean storage, or an accident and subsequent repair. This is especially necessary given the number of vehicles that had their MOTs prolonged throughout the pandemic in 2020 through to 2021.


When buying a car price is, however, it’s well worth being aware of a car’s ongoing costs, too. Most often, fuel efficiency is a key factor, in particular when it comes to purchasing your first motor. If you have by no means owned a vehicle before, you may additionally be amazed by how a lot of fuel costs can add up. Thus when buying a car think about the make of automobile you would like to make investments in, as some can be extra environment friendly and fuel-efficient than others.

Hybrid vehicles are designed to reap decreased oil expenses than regular models. Run through two exclusive energy sources — an interior combustion engine and electric powered generator — the former wants way much less fuel than a usual car to work. If your finances can’t stretch to this variety of make, search for a car with a small engine. Like a hybrid, it won’t require as much gas as a large-engine vehicle.

Long-Term Value

Buying a car you are not likely to choose to hold its value forever. At some point, you can also decide to sell it and make investments in another model. That’s the place long-term value comes in. When you purchase your first vehicle, it’s necessary to think about this element — and it’s typically easy to decide whether or not or not a vehicle will retain its current value or not. It might also come as a surprise, however a lot of the time, older motors tend to be higher for this. Typically, a new model depreciates using 15 – 35 percent in cost inside its first year; this amount may additionally then increase to around 50 percent over the subsequent three years.

Older cars, on the other hand, lose much less cost over time. When buying a car keep this in mind, why don’t you make investments in one? Find a truthful merchant, and you will be in a position to get a splendid car.

Few more checklists for buying a car – Used

When buying a car, there are a few things you have to double-check before you drive home. When buying a car, you don’t have a good resource of info about the car and if you buy the automobile it may not be as described. Check the following:

V5C: The car registration certification, additionally referred to as the V5C or logbook, is not a replica or printout – and must list a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and engine number that suit these stamped on the vehicle. You will want these records to tax the vehicle.

MOT records: If the car is three years old or more, you have to additionally ask to see current and previous MOT certificates, which will discover any issues with the car and affirm the mileage you see on the odometer is real. You can additionally ask to see service records.

Test: The lights, air conditioning, and wipers to see if they work. See if tires have ample tread. If not, they may additionally want to be replaced.

Check for rust or welding: Particularly underneath the bonnet, in the boot, underneath the car, and below the footwell mats.

Test drive: Test the clutch and brakes; shift gears to see if the transmission is smooth; get on the motorway to test how the vehicle performs at speeds over 60mps. See if the steering wheel vibrates.

Haggling: You have reached the closing stage, and you are prepared to hand over your cash. The car’s nearly yours, and you simply want to pay up. But one way you should be making a massive saving is by way of sincerely asking. If you are assured it is adequate to do it, haggling with the dealer or seller ought to get at least a minor reduction in the charge of your car. Every penny does count. You continue to be pleasant and polite, most sellers are completely happy to negotiate a little. Even if you aren’t presented with a discount, the dealer may throw in some extras to sweeten the deal.

Should I cancel my present insurance policy?

When selling your old car, or part-exchanging it for a new model, you will want to inform your insurer. You can then both renew your current coverage onto the new automobile or cancel your coverage all collectively and get a new one. 

What are the hidden expenses of owning a vehicle?

Some of the charges of proudly owning a car will be negated by way of the cash you already spend on public transport, but proudly owning a car typically works out more:

  • Dealer commissions
  • Warrantees
  • Additional scratch, dent, and tire and rim (if any) insurance plan
  • Life insurance 
  • Insurance -You will have to follow your car insurance
  • Car washes 
  • Fuel
  • Services and maintenance. 
  • Tyre replacement
  • Roadside help 
  • There are regularly different incidentals, such as oil, antifreeze, and small repairs that are now not covered below your set month-to-month repayments. It’s a desirable concept to keep a small quantity of cash each month and to set it apart for unexpected expenditures.


Finally, geared up to get your first car? Hope our checklist guides you when buying a car. Now that you understand what to look for in your first car, you can discover a model that fits you. And so, get a car which is worth your hard-earned money.



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