Bringing home your first car is a special moment in life. Whether you have saved up for it or taken out a loan for the purchase, it is one thing you will never forget. In order to help you make the right choice, we have this guide that will make sure you look out for the right things when taking a decision. You do not want to waste your money on something that does not fit your needs, hence, follow the points below to ensure you get to bring home the car of your dreams.
Set a budget
No matter the type of car you want to own, it makes sense to set a budget and stick to it. You might be tempted to put a price in mind but then make small adjustments when you visit the car dealership but this is not a good idea. You do not just budget for the cost of purchase but also need to consider all the unavoidable running costs. They include road tax, car insurance, fuel, and annual maintenance costs.
Finding the first car
Given the number of options today, finding a car is a very easy part. Head to the local dealership or check online and you will find several new and used cars that fit your needs. If you are happy to buy a used car, you can also visit a private seller who will help you find the right one. Used cars are also available online but it might take a little searching.
Check things over
When you are buying a new car, your car will be covered with a warranty in case anything goes wrong but it is a good idea to check everything before you drive it off the lot. This is because if you happen to spot a scratch once you get home, it will become difficult to prove that it did not happen after you left. You will end up with an expense right from the day you bring the car home. If the car is being delivered to you, a lot of dealers allow easy returns if you are unsatisfied with the car. But purchasing a second-hand car is a whole different matter. You will either buy it from the dealership or a private seller and when you buy from a dealer, you will still have some protection but there will be none when you buy from a private seller. When buying from a dealer, remember:
- That the vehicle is independently checked and the dealers follow codes of practice.
- The car should be of satisfactory quality in terms of age, type of transmission, mileage, model, etc. Cars with a 4l60e transmission usually perform well on the road.
- It is fit for purpose and is legal to drive.
- The car should match the description. If there is an advertisement that says the car has a central locking, it should be in working condition.
You must keep in mind that the dealer is not liable for any damage that you cause due to misuse or an accident and they will not be liable for wear and tear.
Take it for a ride
If you are satisfied with the car and want to take the next stage, you can take the car for a test drive. However, if the owner does not let you, take it as a sign and walk away. Otherwise, simply take the car for a spin and check every element of the car while you are on the wheels.
Check the clutch: Check the biting point of the clutch and if it does not bite until the clutch is fully engaged, then it could be in need of a replacement.
Test the performance: See how the car moves as you accelerate and as you put it through its paces, look for any unusual vibrations or sounds.
Speed up: Any problems in the front portion of the car can be masked at low speeds so speed up the car and see how it works.
Test gear shifts: While shifting gears, see how the transmission feels. Is it smooth or does it feel problematic?
Check the brakes: This is a very important part of your test drive. Whenever you apply the brakes, does it feel responsive or does it feel soft? Do you need to put a lot of pressure? Notice these things and be aware of the car pulling to one side whenever you brake.
These are some tips you need to keep in mind whenever you set out to buy your first car. Try to get an idea of what you should be paying for the car and when it is a used car, always go in low. If you find any problems in the car while you test drive it, you can use them to negotiate the price.