Choosing your First Car

You have recently passed your driving test and now it feels like a new world has opened up around you. A newly-found freedom to go where you want, when you want without having to rely on mum and dad gives you an independence which now needs to be explored. The only real snag is that car ownership is dangerously expensive so picking your first car is a huge responsibility. So…. where do you start? We outline some useful tips to keep in mind before you buy:

Size Does Matter:

If you asked insurance companies how many scrapes and accidents new drivers get into in their first couple of years driving and it will be a fair few. Your traffic decision-making skills are not quite up to scratch and you struggle with things like the width and length of a car and judging what gaps are large enough to squeeze through. Small cars are always a good choice because of this. They are far easier to manoeuvre around town and of course they are easy to park. Insurance prices are also affected by engine size so the smaller the car the better chance you have of lower insurance costs.

Power Down:

It is just a fact of life that a young man or lady behind the wheel of their first car is like a bull in a newly-opened china shop. The last thing you want is to put a carefree attitude in a supped up powertrain, it is just asking for trouble. A 1.0 or 1.2 litre car will suffice to begin with as you can really rag the smaller engine without getting into too many high-speed shenanigans. Also keep in mind car insurance prices are better on low power cars.

Cheap to Run:

Flipping burgers in your spare time out of college or university does not exactly fill up a bank account and car ownership is not cheap. Dreaded insurance premiums will always be sky high for a new driver under the age of twenty-five, so a car in a low insurance bracket is generally the only way forward. You have to also think about tax, the rising costs of petrol, tyres and servicing. Smaller, less expensive cars will always prove a lot cheaper to get around so at least you can drive somewhere and still have a few pennies to spend when you get there.

Used but Not Abused:

Buying new is not normally an option for a new driver, but even if it is applicable it’s still not really a viable option. Cars lose swathes off their value as soon as they leave the showroom and hit the public roads. Used cars on the other hand can be great-value for money and at some car supermarkets you can pick up a next-to-new basic model with low mileage which is still under warranty, all for a vastly reduced price when compared to buying off the peg.

Enjoy your new found independence and take advantage of the freedom your first car will give you. Be wise about your first choice and you can enjoy the open roads without crippling your bank account.