Buying your very first car is such an exciting time in a person’s life. The sense of freedom to do as you please without being reliant on public transport or friends and family is such a liberating feeling. It also comes with a set of responsibilities. Car ownership is an ongoing role that needs to be approached with some forethought to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you on the road.
In addition, you want to do everything you can to make sure that you end up buying a car that will also treat you well in return. Modern used cars may be more reliable than they were 20 years ago, but that’s not to say there aren’t still risks. So the better prepared you are before you hit the classifieds, the more likely you’ll get yourself a motor that will accompany you for many years of fun and adventure.
Let’s take a look at five tips that will help you buy your first car of your dreams.
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It’s not as simple as coming up with a number and sticking to cars that are advertised at less than that number. Cars come with ongoing costs such as insurance, fuel, registration and maintenance. This means you’ll need to figure out what you can afford in running costs because this will influence the car you will buy. A newer and more expensive car will come with higher insurance premiums, particularly if it is a performance car of any kind. Insurance companies don’t just factor replacement cost into their premiums, they also consider the likelihood that the car will be in an accident or will be the target of crime.
Your lifestyle will be a big determining factor in the kind of car that will be on your shopping list. Do you want a small city runabout like a Mazda 2? A hatchback to zip around in with a friend on your way to social engagements? Or do you need something with a bit more space for transporting cargo such as tools or leisure equipment such as the Mazda CX-5? Make sure you take into account your work or hobbies if they might affect the kind of car that is suitable for you to own.
This will probably be the focus of your efforts while you’re on the hunt for your first car. Buying a used car privately can be fraught with danger, particularly if you’re not mechanically minded.
If possible, it’s a great idea to take a car savvy friend with you when you go to inspect a used vehicle. Friends with good car and mechanical knowledge are worth their weight in gold when it comes to used car shopping.
If you don’t have such a friend that you can take with you, then write up a checklist of things to look for so you can be as thorough as you can. This list should include things like:
– Mileage (an average car does around 16,000 km in a year)
– Service history
– Number of previous owners
– If you spot a different paint colour on the inside of a door panel or in the engine bay it indicates the car may have been in a crash
– Tyre condition
– Check engine oil (it should be a good level and be a slightly golden colour although black is normal for diesel engines)
– Look around the engine bay and under the car for fluid leaks
– Check that all the lights and indicators work
– Check all the electronic gadgets and accessories
– Does the engine run smoothly?
– Are the brakes responsive?
– Check that the VIN number matches what is in the paperwork
You really don’t want to get caught out with a defective car. It can be easy for sellers to cover underlying mechanical faults so the better prepared you are, the less likely you’ll get stung buying a lemon.
Most dealerships ensure a high standard with their used car inventory. Any Mazda dealership in Perth is a safe bet when it comes to buying a reliable, high quality used car.
Night time is great for hiding blemishes and damage either inside a car or on its exterior. Even in a well lit area, it can be hard to spot a scratch, paint damage, dents, torn upholstery or other damaged equipment. Stick to inspecting cars during the day so that there is nothing hidden in the darkness.
if you have the option of buying a new first car then it’s good to look at the pros and cons of new vs used. New cars are more expensive but come with warranties and modern features, and are in pristine condition. For the same money in the used car market, you may be able to buy a much higher quality car that is a few years old. It’s worth considering what is more of a priority to you.
As long as you do your homework, you should be able to walk away from your first car buying experience with a great new vehicle that you’re totally happy with. So good luck and happy shopping!