Buying Your First Car – Checklist for Buying Your First Car

May 10, 2022 by Zoe Hicks – 11 mins read

People who have by no means owned an automobile earlier than now all of sudden find themselves endeavouring on the troubling mission of buying their first car.

Car dealerships, in response to a drastic decline in foot visitors in their showrooms, have adopted digital excursions and deliveries to make the procedure less difficult for those who are wishing to continue to be safe. But the dealership is just a small phase of the whole process, several matters should be checked when buying your first car. Whether you are searching for a new or used automobile as your first car, right here are some steps you can take to make a clever and knowledgeable decision. 

Benefits of shopping for a new car:

When you prefer to buy a new car as your first car there are some benefits.

  • Warranties – you will have the reassurance of the manufacturer’s warranty, which will cowl the fee for any faults that might also crop up in the first few years.
  • More finance selections – you would possibly be in a position to unfold the value over a length of time, making a new car extra affordable.
  • You will get the latest technology.
  • Peace of thinking – you may have no doubts about how the car’s been maintained by using preceding owners.
  • Specification – you can select what you desire in phrases of paint colour, trim, seat material, and optional extras.

Buying your first car – Checklist

What are the most secure vehicles for new drivers?

Let’s go through our checklist for buying your first car. We will start with safety aspects. Generally, the more recent the vehicle the safer it is – each in phrases of how nicely it protects you if you are worried about an accident and the points it has to forestall you from getting into danger. Check this when buying your first car.

Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and Auto Emergency Braking (AEB) are all points that seem to be out for if you are buying your first car.

Euro NCAP’s crash assessments and protection scores are satisfactory information for discovering a secure car. But they change their check regime and ranking every few years, so you can solely virtually examine their rating scores between vehicle models of comparable age. That means a 4-sat car from 2015 is probably to be appreciably safer than a 4-star automobile from 2000.

Find a truthful seller

The subsequent aspect you will want to do when buying your first car, especially if purchasing a used car is figuring out whether or not to go with a dealer or a private seller. Buying from a private seller should be cheaper, however, approaching a legit dealer is a safer way to purchase a car when buying your first car. The key distinction between the dealer and the private is the safety you get from the law when shopping from a dealer. If something goes wrong with your vehicle, you may have fewer consumer rights with a private sale.

Contact the dealer and what doc should be taken with you?

  • Always call earlier than visiting to check the car is available. You can book an appointment time that is convenient for you to visit the dealer.
  • Take your driver’s licence when you visit the dealer
  • The details of your current car, if you desire to talk about buying and selling it in
  • Any data of the car you have been researching, or a replica of the advert if applicable

Good questions to ask about new cars

When buying your first car now is the time to think about what variant and preferences you want.

  • What are the model types, trim ranges, and enhancements – which is the satisfactory variant to suit your needs?
  • What elements are widespread and which can be added?
  • How long is the producer warranty?
  • Does the dealer provide an extra guarantee and what are the phrases and conditions?
  • Does the car come with extra features?

Choose your Car Type

When buying your first car, have truly determined that there are many sorts of automobiles to pick from.

  • What type of car matches your needs? 
  • Do you desire something compact due to the fact you stay in a city?  
  • Do you favour something greater to match all your cargo and household members? 
  • Do you stay someplace with inclement weather?

When buying your first car – Used car or New Car

These are all matters to assume when thinking about a car. Furthermore, ask yourself if you favour going down the new-car or used-car route. New cars, of course, imply that you may get stuff like a manufacturing assurance and you can keep away from conditions where you have to fear about previous owners. But new motors additionally tend to be greater high-priced and have now not taken a depreciation hit yet. When buying your first car and if you purchase new, you may take the depreciation hit.

Used motors can be cheaper, however, they require a greater individual looking-over before you can pull the trigger. More in the future. But for now, additionally, be aware that if you are wondering about a used car, think about a right Certified Pre-Owned deal — a used car it truly is been via some sort of pre-sale inspection — however, be certain to ask to see the specifics of that inspection and something that may have been repaired or advises.

Fix your budget

When buying your first car, fixing up your budget is an important step.

  • Make sure you recognize how plenty you can find the money to spend, whether or not that is outright or by finance
  • Consider the running costs, inside your finances – insurance, fuel, servicing, and more
  • Look up the trade-in cost of your current vehicle 
  • Know your top restriction and stick to it

Don’t spend extra than you have. This looks very obvious, however, it is nevertheless really worth repeating. Figure out how much cash you have to spend, optimistically barring altering your existence too much. Do you have sufficient money to pay upfront? Or do you want a loan?

Estimate the running cost

  • Get a vehicle insurance plan quote
  • Check the annual road tax 
  • Review the car’s gas consumption
  • Consider the mileage you will do every year

Do your research on variants

When buying your first car if you know the car you want, make certain you look up all the available variants

  • Check the engine measurement and fuel preferences available
  • Check the charge for specific variants, consisting of three and 5 door versions
  • Read customer and press reviews
  • Look at standard and extra elements and technology
  • Compare fees and spec for comparable cars


Just as you evaluate a vehicle with different alternatives in the market, you ought to do so when purchasing an insurance plan too. There are a lot of insurance agencies providing a couple of schemes for your car. Compare insurances to get a higher deal and do not let any dealership salesman pressurise you into opting for their in-house scheme.

Final Check

If you are purchasing a new vehicle you are covered with the aid of law and included with a guarantee needed if something goes wrong. However, it’s properly thought to supply the automobile a visible take a look at earlier than using it off the lot. The purpose is that if you spot a scratch or ding when you get it home it’s very hard to show it didn’t take place after you left. If your vehicle is being delivered, many sellers permit no quibble returns if you are now not satisfied with the car.

Buying your first car – a second-hand car is a special matter. You will both be shopping from a dealer or a private seller. When you purchase from a dealer you will have some protection, whereas shopping privately virtually is a case of purchaser beware.

If purchasing from a dealer, remember:

  • Many used car sellers have their automobiles independently checked, and will be members of a trade association. With this potential, they will observe codes of practice and ought to make sure you are in secure hands.
  • Used automobile sellers are sure with the aid of regulation to make certain that the whole lot they sell is:

Good quality – This indicates that the quality of the vehicle is retained with its age, make, model, mileage, etc.

Fit for a motive – That the car is successful in carrying out all the features you would assume of it.

Legal requirement – It is unlawful for all of us to sell an automobile that does not meet legal requirements.

Matches its description – If the advert says the automobile has central locking it should be in working condition. If any components that are described in the advert are lacking or non-functioning then the provider violates the Sale of Goods Act.

Remember that sellers aren’t accountable for any damage you cause thru accident or misuse, neither are they accountable for what is deemed fair wear and tear. When purchasing from a private seller you don’t have lots of recourse needed to something shown to be incorrect with the vehicle, or is no longer as you expected. So, be aware to hold the following in mind when buying your first car:

  • Check all the paperwork when buying your first car. If they can’t grant documentation or the car is registered in a distinctive name, the files include mistakes, important points that don’t match such as the car coloration and engine number or it lacks a current MOT, this must be a red flag.
  • Is the mileage steady with age? It is viable for old, well-maintained automobiles that have low mileage however be wary.
  • Check the mileage on the automobile in opposition to MOT checks certificates and service files if they have them.
  • Is the paint finished evenly, or can you see panels that seem different?
  • Look in the boot and beneath the bonnet. Are there signs and symptoms of uncommon welding or rust?
  • Do the tires have adequate tread? If they are low they will want to change either without delay or in the future.
  • Are the spare tire, jack, and the vehicle’s toolkit present?
  • Are the seatbelts functioning and undamaged?
  • Do any fault lights show up on the dashboard? Check towards the manual.
  • Are your washers and wipers functional?
  • Are all lights functioning? You might also want any person to assist you with this, or surely ask the owner to sell them all whilst you look at them from outside.
  • Do all the locks, home windows, and inner controls for air conditioning, radio, and so on work properly?
  • Are there signs and symptoms of rust beneath the footwell mats or the car?

The phase of Negotiation

Here are some suggestions for getting the nice deal possible, and understand the rate on a new automobile is no greater “fixed” than that of a second-hand car: Get a concept of what you must be paying for the car. When buying your first car discover online vehicle valuation tools, and also guides from the primary automobile magazines. This applies to each new and used car. Use this fact to set your beginning price, or ask a dealer to fix or beat.

For a used car, constantly go in low. Don’t go lower than the bottom range of expenditures for that model, or you risk making the vendor unwilling to bargain. But going in low you can let the dealer negotiate up, which offers them a feeling of control. If on checking the car over, and check riding it, you discover some troubles or minor issues, you can use these to keep the rate down. Some problems can be well worth sorting yourself if you get the automobile for a correct sufficient price. Don’t be afraid to stroll away. Remember it’s simply a car, and you shouldn’t pay more than you assume to. There’s stability to be struck to maintain each party happily, however, truly the power is on your side.

Buying your first car – The ultimate step Test drive

Test drive when buying your first car, it is the place you can in the end meet the car you have been studying about and turning over in your head. Test drives are the location where you can physically evaluate the automobile that you may be probably spending a lot of cash and time with.

As stated above, make certain to ask for a test drive. Take the car on different routes. 

Also understand that a test drive would not simply consider how an automobile drives, but additionally how it matches with you. Before even leaving the lot, take some time to sit down in the car, cross the seat to your using position, and see if you are comfortable. Can you see through the window easily? Can you fit all of your stuff in it? Does your family fit in it? Sometimes a car can appear best on paper and then the entire thinking falls aside as quickly as you get into the driver’s seat.

When it comes to a used car, this contrast is of even greater importance, due to the fact you are additionally searching out for practicable wear and tear. Make certain the electronics work, check the condition of the body, see what situation the tires are in. Obtain a car history record and possibly even ask a trusted mechanic to observe it. It’s a small rate to pay to doubtlessly keep away from a massive mechanical difficulty in the future. And as soon as you go for that take a look at the drive, hear for any irregular noises and be on the lookout for any odd vibrations coming from both the wheels and the steerage wheel. That should point out mechanical trouble or problems with the wheels or tires.



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