Once you’ve passed your driving test it can be a really exciting time and very tempting to rush into getting a car. The first thing you will want to do is get a car and get yourself on the roads, which is the whole point of learning how to drive! However, there are a few factors you should consider first to make sure that your car buying is an informed decision, and it will fit within your budget.
The guide below looks at 5 expert tips from a car dealer on how to buy a car after you pass your test.
1. Shop cars within your budget.
No matter what your age or driving experience, your budget is always priority when it comes to car buying. Depending on how you’re going to fund your car purchase, your budget may differ. Buying with cash can be the most cost-effective way to get a car as there’s no extra fees to pay and you have the ability to buy from a dealer or private seller. However, if you don’t have that kind of money to hand, you may be considering car finance for young people to help spread the cost of ownership. Car finance rates can vary, and it can be a good idea to compare deals from different lenders or car finance brokers.
2. Car dealers vs. private sellers.
Depending on how you want to buy your first car, you may be limited to where you can get a car from. Buying with cash means you can buy from both car dealers and private sellers. You may have more negotiation power when it comes to buying privately but you don’t have as much protection as you do when you buy from a dealership. If you’re looking to go down the finance route, you can buy a car from a dealer and apply with their lending panel or source your own finance from an online finance broker and then use your deal at any participating car dealership.
3. Check the details of the car with the DVLA.
A car dealer will be able to provide you with all the details you need regarding the car you want to buy but it won’t hurt to check the details of the car for yourself. You can do this via the DVLA. First ask the seller for the registration number of the vehicle, MOT test number, current mileage, and the Logbook (V5). You can then check the cars details with the DVLA and see if it has a valid MOT and has been taxed and also make sure the information matches the seller’s description.
4. Test drive any cars within your budget.
When you first past your driving test, you won’t have had much experience driving different cars. Many newly qualified drivers are often tempted to get a car that is like the one they learnt to drive in as they feel comfortable in them. However, any new driver should test drive any cars with their budget to see which vehicle would suit best. It can be daunting taking a test drive but there’s no point in buying a car that you don’t actually like driving. Feel free to take a car out for at least 30 mins, drive it on different types of roads and also park it up somewhere to do your own checks over the vehicle without the watchful eye of the dealer or seller.
5. Compare insurance rates.
Newly qualified drivers tend to see some of the highest car insurance rates around. Due to their lack of driving experience, they are more likely to be involved in a road accident or collision in the first year of driving. Some cars are more expensive to insure than others so it can be a good idea compare insurance rates for different cars within your budget, especially if you want to keep costs as low as possible.