Purchasing your first car is an exciting experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
Whilst you may rush out and purchase the best car you can with the money you have, there are a handful of things that you should keep in mind to prevent you from paying over the odds if the worst does happen.
Low insurance groups
Insurance is one of the biggest things that will influence the first car that you buy. It’s common knowledge that new drivers have the highest premiums, but the vehicle you purchase has a big impact on the price you should be expecting to pay.
Car insurance is divided into groups. Vehicles in group one – such as the Citroen C1 and the Volkswagen Up – generally have the cheapest insurance, whereas those in group 50 – such as the Porsche 911 and the BMW 6-Series – will have extortionate premiums.
You should also look at the voluntary and compulsory excess charges on the policy that you choose. A lower excess fee means that if you do need to claim, it will be less of your own money going towards repairs.
Some car companies offer deals in which you get free insurance with the vehicle you purchase (also known as ‘fuel and go’ deals). These are a popular option for new drivers as the car can be purchased through finance, and you avoid the high premiums that insurances offer.
Whilst this is a great option for those who haven’t saved enough to pay for both the vehicle and the insurance, it’s essential to read the terms of the contract before signing up. Often, these deals mean that you don’t legally own the car at the end of the contract, resulting in you paying a bulk sum if you want to keep it.
Whilst the excitement of purchasing your first car can be overwhelming and you might be looking for the biggest and best set of wheels to impress your friends with, it’s a good idea to stick to a budget when purchasing the vehicle.
New drivers are those with the least experience and as you may suspect, it’s not uncommon for accidents to happen. In fact, as many as 23% of 18-24 year olds crash within two years of being on the road and depending on the damage done to the vehicles involved, repairs can be expensive and put your insurance no-claims discount at risk.
Best practice is to stick to a vehicle that is reliable yet has cheap part replacements to protect you against being unable to afford repairs.
Safety of the car
Because crashes and bumps aren’t uncommon with new drivers, it’s a good idea to choose a car that is safe. The structure should be strong and have no issues, and you should avoid Category C cars if possible.
The tyres on the vehicle should also be above the legal requirements and all elements – such as the clutch, brakes and engine – should be working correctly.
Even though the experience of purchasing your first car can be overwhelming, there’s no better feeling than the sense of freedom you get with your first wheels. Plus, taking the time to research the best vehicle for your budget is bound to save you money in the long-run and protect you if the worst does happen.