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Buying Your First Car

September 11, 2014

As a new driver, buying your first car can be an exciting time – and so it should be! However, there are lots of factors and paperwork which can seem alien to first time drivers. If you’ve never gone through the process of buying and owning a vehicle before, we’ve got some top tips so you can avoid any potential pitfalls and get yourself on the road as quickly as possible.

Featured Expert: Top auto journalist, John Slavin of shares his top tips for new drivers looking for their first car.

“An important tip to remember is that cheapest isn’t always best. Buying a £500 banger will probably cost you more in the long run in repairs and maintenance – so visit a dealer and spend a bit more. If things go wrong then you have some comeback with a dealer to get things mended – that isn’t the case with a private sale. And as a young driver your most important consideration is insurance – get a quote from a comparison site for every car on your shortlist – there can be wild variation in quotes between very similar cars. And be honest when filling in the forms – if you tell a fib then your insurance probably won’t be valid!”

The majority of first time buyers will be looking for a car on a budget and those of you who are lucky enough to have a big budget should probably still stick to sensible options. Insurance companies put a premium on new drivers and until you’ve held your license for a while and built up a no-claims discount, you could be facing a hefty insurance bill. In order to get around this – as a general rule; the cheaper the car, the cheaper the insurance.

First car: What to look for?

Cars come with lots of additional costs and once you factor in the insurance, tax, maintenance and fuel, it can soon add up to a considerable amount. Therefore it’s essential you identify your priorities. If you’re lacking the funds for running costs, then look for an economical car. Many of today’s small city cars fall below the 100g/km emissions tax band, meaning you won’t have to pay any car tax. As an added bonus, these vehicles are nearly always super fuel efficient – meaning more time between trips to the petrol pump.

You’re unlikely to see these economy figures on older vehicles and as suggested by Honest John, you may be saving yourself money in the long run by purchasing a newer, more expensive car upfront. For a higher initial cost, you will benefit from low running expenses and repair bills.

Featured Expert: Young driver expert Ray from shares some valuable advice for first time drivers in the market to buy.

”It’s your first car so don’t go crazy. The bigger the engine the more you’ll pay and the more modifications you have the greater the cost of your insurance premium. Once you have built up a couple of years of No Claims Bonus, then you can upgrade your car to something a little flashier with lower insurance costs.”

Decide how much you can afford to pay. Include the cost of insurance, MOT, road tax, petrol, repairs and servicing. Don’t rush into a decision. Shop around. Look through price guides to see how much you should expect to pay for the car you want. Buying from a dealer is the safest way of buying as you get the maximum protection of the law. But there are dodgy dealers, so look for an established firm with a good reputation. Ask friends if they can recommend anyone.


If you’re wanting to buy your very first car, the Car Loan Warehouse can help. Our competitive car finance deals could mean your dream car is more affordable than you think. Try out our quick and easy online car loan calculator for an instant quote, or apply now for a quick no-obligation decision




About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.