The feeling of holding your freshly-earned driver’s license in your hand is a feeling like no other. You are now independent and can take yourself to and from wherever you please.
If you are looking to buy a new car to match your new driver’s license, there are certain things to look out for to ensure you make the right purchase for your needs.
A model that fits your needs
Before you start looking for a car, you will need to fully assess your needs. Are you planning on going for long road trips to visit friends and family? Or are you going to be zipping around town, running errands? You will also need to think of how many passengers you are likely to carry at any given time and whether you need a lot of cargo capacity or not.
A price that fits your pocket
Once you have decided on your needs and have found a car model that fits the bill, you will need to find a model that is affordable enough for your budget. A sporty, bright red convertible may suit your needs, but it will most likely be a lot more expensive than a hatchback in the same colour. Draw up a budget and stick to it, no matter how much the salespeople try to sell that nifty little number. A car that fits your budget is also easier to maintain, saving you money in the long run.
How is the fuel economy?
One of the first things you need to look at, once you have decided on your needs, is how the fuel economy of the car is. Ask the dealer how many kilometres per litre the car consumes, and remember that this will differ significantly between petrol and diesel cars. Look for one with good fuel economy so you will be saving more in the long run, and also making less of a carbon footprint. Compare the fuel economy to how far and how often you are planning to drive in your new car to make a more informed decision.
Don’t forget dependability
A dependable car is one that can last for over a year, provided it is maintained and looked after by the driver. A car may have amazing fuel economy and space, but if you have to service it or repair it on a regular basis, then it is not considered dependable. Look for a model that will not have to be rushed a mechanic at the first sign of trouble, but can handle rough terrain without rattling apart. Your first car will not likely be your last, but it will need to last you for at least five to 10 years. Many new drivers find that Japanese used cars for sale are more reliable and better manufactured than their European counterparts, making them ideal for both city driving and longer trips.
Follow the FLOWER check
If you are at a dealership looking at cars, ask if they can do a FLOWER check, that is a fuel, lights, oil, water, electrics, and rubber check. Not only will this show you if the car is in good working order, you will also learn how to do this yourself once you have purchased the car. If the tyre rubber is worn or if the electrics are slow to react, you should be hearing warning bells. Even if a car is used, the dealership should maintain it and keep it in good condition.
Safety features of a car are vitally important and are not an aspect that you should overlook. Research crash test ratings on models you are interested in and look for any other safety features the car may have, such as a forward collision warning system, lane departure warnings, and more. Ask the dealer if the particular model you are interested in has these features and consider your decision seriously based on this information.
Ask about insurance rates
As a new driver, it is imperative to find out how much you will be paying to insure your new car. Younger drivers often have much higher insurance rates due to them being higher risk, but this differs from package to package. Before you sign anything relating to a car purchase, find out how much you are going to have to pay to insure your new vehicle so you do not get a nasty surprise.
If you are meticulous in planning out your budget and expectations, you will be able to find your dream car. Draw up a list of your wants, needs and budget capabilities and take this with you when you go car shopping. One of the most important things to remember is to buy a car you love so driving will be an exciting and enjoyable experience.