Buying your first car can be both exciting and utterly terrifying. Though you may already know which car you’re after, the process can quickly become overwhelming as there are so many things to remember and consider. With that in mind, here are five tips to help you out when buying your first car.
1. Make sure you get the best possible finance
You should be shopping around for finance institutions prior to your big car shop. The last thing you should do is take a deal on finance because it’s convenient or easy. Speak to a variety of lenders – from your bank to specialist lenders. All should be able to give you an idea of what you could expect in terms of interest rates, which will help you form a clearer picture of who to partner with.
2. Ensure you are protected
It can be a risk to purchase a vehicle from private sellers or unlicensed dealers. The reason for this is that they operate without regulation and offer little in the way of legal recourse in the event of any unforeseen problems. When going through a licensed dealer, you will be given a cooling-off period and a statutory warranty that will be offered on many of the vehicles that pass through their doors. Confirm that the vehicle does indeed exist and is available – you’d be surprised how often people will try to sell you a car that hasn’t been built yet.
3. Get everything in writing
You should be ignoring any promises, assurances, guarantees, or warranties that are not in writing. There’s nothing to back them up and they’re extremely hard to enforce. Unscrupulous sellers or dealers can promise you the world but if the agreement isn’t in writing then there’s absolutely no reason for them to honor it – this means you will be left without a leg to stand on. Ask for contracts to be amended with any changes and have the contracts looked over by a professional for anything that may not be to your liking.
4. Don’t be afraid to conduct a background check
This is especially useful if purchasing a vehicle privately. Get in touch with a body like the Personal Property Security Register and find out if the car you’re interested in has any money still owing on it or if it has been listed as written off or stolen. You’ll also be able to compare the features of the vehicle against the list provided in the search to make sure you’re getting the vehicle as advertised.
5. Make sure the car is insured before you even leave
Compulsory Third Party insurance (or CTP) is one component of your vehicle’s registration process but it doesn’t cover everything so you’re going to need a higher level of protection. CTP will only cover injuries sustained by passengers, not the at-fault driver. It also doesn’t cover damage to or damage caused by your vehicle. Third Party Property or Comprehensive insurance is the only ways to cover these areas fully.
These are just a few things to bear in mind when purchasing your first car. Everything may seem very serious for a purchase that is going to make your life demonstrably better but they’re well worth dealing with now so that you can enjoy your new car later. What are your top tips for buying a new car? Sound off in the comments!