One of the biggest milestones in many young people’s lives is when they pass their driving test and look to buy their first car. It took me 3 attempts but my nieces and nephew all passed the first time around!
If you have just ripped up your L Plates and are finally free to take your first solo road trip, then you might have grand dreams of buying a convertible or some fast car, but the reality is often a little different!
Firstly, you have to find a way to pay for your new car, so below are a few tips for financing your first car so that you discover the best options for your budget.
Tips for financing your first car
Determine Your Income
Before you can find the car you want, it is vital that you start to figure out your financial situation. Especially for young people, money might not be as easy to earn as it can be when you are older, so you need to calculate your budget carefully.
The bonus, however, is that you probably won’t have any other big expenses like a mortgage, so you should be able to adjust your budget easier. Work out what money you have coming into your bank, and then deduct any expenses like smartphones or travel and commute for work. You should then have a surplus amount, but don’t be tempted to use all of that for your car as you will also need to pay for insurance and fuel.
Find Your Finance
Once you know how much you can afford to repay, you need to think about where you will get the money for the car. You have a few options available to you, but not all of them will be successful.
For example, you can approach the bank, but after the financial issues over the past few years, they are not always loaning money in the same way as previously.
You can approach a car finance company to help you; they will take all your personal circumstances into account and decide if you are eligible for finance.
Another option is to save the money you need to buy the car outright. The only issue with this option is that it can take a long time, especially if you are not earning a lot of money.
I was lucky enough to inherit my dad’s old Ford Fiesta when he bought a newer model but all the maintenance costs, insurance and fuel bills were my responsibility.
Find Your Car
So, you have done your budget and secured your finance; you can now think about finding your first car!
With this part of the journey, it can be a good idea to have someone with you that knows about cars, especially if you are buying a used car. Some car showrooms can be less reputable than others, so you should always examine the cars thoroughly and see if there are any defects or hidden damage.
Discuss with them about any warranties or other deals that they can offer you on the car. Depending on who you go to, these can range from a free period of insurance to free servicing.
If you are considering a second-hand car, don’t be afraid to get an independent inspection from a reputable body or garage. The extra outlay might save you from buying something that won’t even pass its first MOT and has to be scrapped. Yes, that happened to me!
When you are looking to buy your first car, it can be overwhelming, and you might be so excited just to get on the road and to start driving that you throw caution to the wind. However, it is important that you take care and ensure that you have the right budget in place and the right finance.
Financing your first car need not be difficult if you do your research and take as much time over your decision as you do choosing your first set of wheels.