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What You Need to Know Before Getting Your First Car

Getting your first car is an exciting time in your life as it gives you the freedom to drive where you want, when you want – and most importantly -, while being in control of the music playlist!

However, if you have not done it before, the act of buying a set of wheels isn’t as straight forward as you might think, and there are a few things you should know before doing so.

In this post, we aim to give you the heads up on how to go about getting your first car. If you use these tips as a guide, you should find the process a lot more seamless when you actively start looking.

Before Getting Your First Car

What You Need to Know Before Getting Your First Car

1. Know how to drive.

Before you get your first car it’s important to know how to drive, or at least be learning how to do so. It might seem obvious but sometimes people focus more on the car than the skill.

Buying a car can be a significant outlay, so you’ll want to make sure your inexperience doesn’t lead to accidents or any kind of drama that could affect its value – and your overall confidence.

If you are learning to drive in the car you want to purchase or if you have passed your test, these EZ Licence driving tips are always worth remembering.

2. Have an idea of what car you would like.

Before buying a car, it is worth making yourself aware of what kind of vehicle you are looking for.

Here are some questions to consider

  • Do you want a 2-door or 4-door model?
  • Would you like an automatic or manual car?
  • Are you after a petrol car or an electric car?
  • Do you want a brand new car or a second hand?
  • What brands do you like the best?

If you are in your twenties, it might not be the best idea to buy a brand-new car.

However, once you have answered all these questions, you can frame your search around these parameters.

3. Set a budget.

You might have a dream or ideal car you’d like to drive. But can you afford it? The best way you’ll be able to recognise this is if you set a budget for yourself based on the criteria above.

Budgets should always be flexible but always have a ceiling price in place, taking into account other lifestyle expenses you might have, including rent/mortgage, food, health insurance, etc.

You’ll also want to be aware of the running costs of the vehicle, such as how much it would cost you in petrol every week (if it’s not an EV you are buying), car insurance and six-monthly/10,000k services.

4. Know where to look and what the pros and cons are.

Cars can be bought via a dealer, auction or private sale. So, depending on where and what method you are most comfortable with, it is a good idea to assess what options are available to you.

If you have a specific brand of car in mind that you would like to purchase, do your research on which dealers sell them.

Similarly, try to find the most popular publications or forums that advise of private sales and be sure to keep tabs of auctions that happen in suburbs and venues you can easily get to.

Whichever method you decide to purchase your car by, make sure you aware of the potential benefits and risks.

For instance, if you buy from a dealer, they are liable for any major issue that might go wrong with the car in the first six months after you procure it. They also usually offer finance, although their prices might be higher than private sales.

By contrast, if you purchase via a private sale or auction, you could end up paying much less, although the chances of the car conking out may well be higher.

Before Getting Your First Car

5. Do a test drive.

For any car you are interested in buying, it is imperative you take it for a test drive.

Doing this will enable you to see first-hand how easy or difficult it is to handle and also give you an appreciation of the car’s visibility, braking abilities, steering, acceleration, noise levels and overall performance.

Should you be interested in a second-hand vehicle, you’ll want to make sure the car starts straight away and does not have any strange noises coming out from it.

It is also important to establish what the suspension is like and whether the air-conditioning system is actually working.

Make sure the service history of the vehicle is fully up-to-date, too.

6. Negotiate.

If you see a car you like, don’t just accept the price stated to you. Instead, make sure you negotiate.

You might not be able to get much of a price reduction overall, but you should be able to save a bit of money off the original listing.

7. Get it inspected by a qualified mechanic.

Any offer you make for a car should be contingent upon it passing an inspection by a qualified mechanic.

You won’t need to do this if you are buying brand new from a dealer, but it is imperative when purchasing from a private seller. If they raise an objection or make a fuss, take it as a red flag that there are issues with the car.

However, if they don’t and your mechanic gives you the green light, you are okay with proceeding with the purchase.

8. Let the authorities know.

Lastly, once you’ve bought the car, it is important to inform your state’s relevant transport authority. Many car dealerships will do it for you but it’s important to make sure that all the proper paperwork and titles are filed and received.

Before Getting Your First Car

Final Thoughts

Getting your first car is a thrilling milestone, marking a new level of independence and freedom. However, it’s important to approach this decision with careful consideration.

By understanding your budget, researching different car models, evaluating the costs of ownership, and securing appropriate financing, you can make a well-informed choice.

Remember to factor in insurance, maintenance, and other recurring expenses to ensure your new vehicle fits seamlessly into your lifestyle. With the right preparation and knowledge, you’ll not only find a car that suits your needs but also enjoy the exciting journey of car ownership with confidence and peace of mind. Happy driving!