Buying your first car is a monumental moment in life. You’ve worked hard to get this far and now you’re ready to have your own set of wheels. The sense of freedom is so exciting for first-time owners but it’s important to take your time and consider a number of factors before making a purchase. We’ve created a guide to buying your first car to help. Follow these steps to purchase the right vehicle for you in the most secure way:
Most people shopping for a car will decide on a budget figure and shop around based on that amount. Think about what you can afford and explore the different loan options available but avoid over borrowing - the cost of the car is just one expense, you still need to pay for tax, insurance and running costs.
Tip: Older vehicles might be cheaper to buy but they are usually more expensive to insure and tax. Get quotes for car insurance and figure out the tax costs for any potential cars.
If you are a learner driver or a young driver with not a lot of experience you are better off buying a vehicle with a smaller engine size. With that in mind, consider the type of driving you will be doing - will you be driving long distances every day, commuting to work in city traffic or mostly using the car to drive locally outside work hours? These factors will greatly influence the kind of car that you need.
When a new car leaves the dealership, it depreciates by approximately 11% of its value. The car will continue to depreciate every year by 15% to 25% and after 5 years the car will be worth just 37% of the original price paid. When purchasing a used car, the vehicle has already depreciated. You can save a lot of money by buying a car that is 2- or 3-years old.
Once you’ve decided what kind of car you’re looking for and what your price limit is it’s time to start shopping around for your first car. Cars can be bought from dealerships, websites, classified ads and private sellers. It’s good to seek the advice of an experienced car owner while you’re in the shopping phase as they will be able to spot things that you might not think of such as mileage of a used car. Ideally you need to watch out for:
Most people would agree that buying a car from a car dealership is a safer option than buying from a private seller.
When you’ve found a car that you’re happy with and would like to purchase it’s important to take it for a test drive. Make sure that you are insured to do this. If you’re test driving a vehicle from a dealership you might be covered by their motor trade policy. If you are not insured to test drive a vehicle you should ask a parent or family member to complete a test drive for you.
While completing a test drive, the following things should be considered:
Car insurance is a legal requirement to drive in Ireland. Use our guide to getting your first car insurance policy to decide the level of car insurance you need and obtain an online car insurance quote in minutes. At AIG we have tailor made policies for young drivers including our telematics insurance which could save you money on your car insurance.