Buying My First Car: The Things I Wish I’d Known Beforehand with ATS Euromaster! [AD]
I’ve been driving for over 15 years and in that time I’ve owned a number of cars. Ones that would be classed as a “banger” (see: my gorgeous PUG!) and one, like the one I have now, that’s more suitable for family life.
Whilst I’ve been very lucky in being able to own a number of cars, I’ve had to learn a few things along the way. For example, the importance of regular car servicing!
As well as looking at the shape, size and colour of a car, it’s super important that you check what’s under the bonnet before investing in a car. This is why I am delighted to be collaborating with ATS Euromaster.
Buying Your First Car…
Congratulations! You’ve passed all the necessary tests and you’re now shopping for your first car. How exciting! This will likely be one of many, but that doesn’t mean you need to invest in a hunk of metal from the offset. With the cost of cars on the increase you’re going to want one that will last you a few commutes and trips to the beach!
One of the hardest lessons I’ve learn over the past 15 years of car ownership is that if you buy cheap you buy twice! Take my beloved PUG (my first ever car; a beautiful, silver Peugeot 106). Whilst she was speedy, her exhaust was a relic. This resulted in many dips into my savings!
With this in mind, here are my top tips in making sure that you don’t make the same mistakes that I did!
Setting Your Budget…
It’s important that you set yourself a realistic budget from the start (and stick to it!). This means doing your research early on to avoid disappointment. Whilst it would be nice to get a brand new car as your first car, or a Ferrari, understand that it might not possible.
That being said, don’t be afraid to haggle!
Tip: Don’t just budget for the cost of your vehicle. Make sure you include all running costs and legal requirements. This will likely include; Insurance, Tax, MOT and Petrol!
Choosing The Right Car
Depending on when you first get yourself on the road will determine what your priorities are. In my twenties, I was living in the centre of Brighton, commuting to West Sussex, and it was just the two of us. This meant that I only needed a small car to get me from A to B, as well as the occasional trip to Cornwall!
Ten years later, my priorities are completely different. Not only has our family grown, but we like driving further afield to festivals and campsites! We also want to prioritise a comfortable and economical drive.
Tip: Before deciding what car you want, write a ‘Must Haves‘ list, or a ‘Pros and Cons‘ list if a particular car has sparked your interest. Make sure you don’t settle for any old car – it needs to meet your needs.
Test Driving & Checking the Service History.
If you’re satisfied with what I’ve mentioned so far, then the next step once you’ve found a car is to take the car for a test drive and looking under the bonnet. If the owner or dealer refuses, walk away. During your conversation with the dealer / current owner, ask for the car service history. This should be detailed and show an extensive list of times the vehicle was serviced.
Tip: Once you bring your car home, why not get it booked in to your local garage for a another once over. Booking it into a reliable and reputable garage will make regular car servicing a breeze. ATS Euromaster have some great recommendations, as well as useful tips and advice on their blog.
Take Your Time!
Obviously if you need a new car quickly for work, then you might not have the luxury of being able to take your time. If you can, though, then do it. It’ll be worth it in the long run.
As well as local dealerships, look at reputable sites online for deals and recommendations. If you decide to visit in person, take someone with you so you can discuss any issues confidently. Equally, they may notice things that you didn’t.
Tip: Don’t feel obligated to make a decision straight away. A car can be an expensive investment, therefore make sure that the car you choose is right for you!
If you appreciated this post, let us know in the comments below. Likewise, if you have any stories to share don’t be shy!
This post ‘ATS Euromaster I Wish I Knew Campaign’ is a collaboration with ATS Euromaster, however all thoughts and experiences are my own.
Yellow VW Beetle: Photo by Giovanni Ribeiro on Unsplash
Spanners: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Orange Beetle: Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash
Car Keys: Photo by Ivan Shemereko on Unsplash