So far on this blog, we have discussed the purpose of our company, car financing and how credit scores can affect it, and the pros and cons of both new and used cars. So now we’re going to get into actually taking that terrifying leap into buying your first car. For those who have never taken the dive before, it can be frightening and overwhelming with so many uncertainties, not enough information and a lot of money involved.
But fear not, this guide is written exactly with you in mind so you can take the first step with confidence.
Before setting your heart on a make or model you need to be sure to set realistic goals for yourself, so you choose a car that falls within the restraints of your budget.
The best way to do this is to simply draw up a budget, taking into account whether it’s through finance or cash, how much you could pay monthly if it’s the former, how much of a deposit you can afford to put down, as well as the running costs such as fuel, tax and insurance. Think about all your other essential bills, such as rent, energy, food, and how much you would have left over. This will give you a detailed idea of how much you could spend on a car, and a general idea of what makes and models you can feasibly afford.
Purpose of the Car
Secondly, consider what your car will be used for. This can not only help you narrow down your selection of vehicles but will also help recognise the costs of your car. Is it a simple A to B for shopping and school runs? Will you be heading down the motorway to different cities, or keeping it local for a commute to work? Once you have the answer to these questions and an outline of your budget, the car hunt can begin.
New or Used?
Last month’s blog took a detailed look at the benefits and drawbacks of both new and used cars, and while it can be tempting to opt for a new vehicle you should take some time to consider if it is necessary, as used cars are the cheaper option, and can still have some of the driver convenient gadgets and gizmos featured in some new models. Your budget and your needs will help you decide which would be more suitable for you, as will our previous blog post!
Choosing a Dealership
Once you have decided on whether it is a new or used car, then is the time to select the dealership you want to conduct business with. Selecting one closest to you would be the most obvious choice, but it’s not unknown for people to travel further afield to do business with a trusted garage, and sometimes it is necessary as local garages may not have the cars you are interested in, or affordable rates. At The Car Finance Companies and Aintree Garages, we ourselves have done business with customers as far as Kent, Glasgow and Belfast because of our trustworthy reputation and wide range of used cars and vans,
Once you have spoken to your chosen dealership and you have decided on the car, then is the time to give it a test drive to make doubly sure it is the right fit for you, and it matches the specification as written on the advertisement.
If you have any concerns about its interior, exterior, or how it handles on the road, discuss this with the salesperson dealing with you, as they will be able to advise you with their expertise for a car more suited to you personally.
Documents and Signing
The final step is ensuring you have all the necessary paperwork from your dealer. This will include the V5 (or log book), service history, user manual and may include a spare key, though not every dealership will guarantee a copy of a spare key. Once you have everything and signed, you can drive away happy with your very first car!