Choosing your first car can be a thrilling experience. It can also be exasperating, especially if you aren’t sure what you are looking for.
Decide what your budget is and don’t go over it. Don’t even look at cars that are over your budget. If you set your heart on a car that is thousands over your budget, you’ll only be frustrated when you have to start looking at less expensive cars again and they pale in comparison to the expensive car you were eyeing.
Avoid buying a car simply because you like the way it looks. Make sure that you know what is under the hood is functional. Take someone along who knows what they are looking at when you go car shopping. Also, realise that just because a car looks good doesn’t mean it hasn’t been in an accident. Find out whether or not the cars you consider have been damaged in the past.
Consider ten cars within your budget, at the very least, before making the decision. And always, always test drive with someone who is knowledgeable about cars. Narrow it down to around three cars, then test drive them again. It is extremely unwise to buy a car without a successful test drive.
When you decide which car you want, if you are spending more than a couple thousand on the car, condition the sale on a professional inspection. This means you’ll buy the car after it passes a structural and mechanical inspection. Since a professional inspection will cost a few hundred pounds, it should be factored into the budget. It might just end up discovering problems that weren’t evident during a test drive and saving you a lot of money in the long run.
When you have confirmed that the car is in good shape, negotiate price. Most sellers mark the asking price a bit high and are willing to come down anywhere from 10% to 15%.