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What to look for in your first car

Searching for your first car should be an exciting time, but with so many things to consider, it can become a tad overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together some handy tips on what to focus on when looking for your first set of wheels, so you can enjoy the feeling of having your own vehicle without all the added stress of researching!

Within your budget

New driver poses proudly with her new carCars range significantly in value, but most young people won’t be able to afford a Mercedes C-class like 17-year-old Brooklyn Beckham! Don’t feel dismayed though, as there are plenty of great cars out there that won’t set you back nearly £40,000.

The first thing to do is set a budget. Even if all your extra shifts and hard-earned savings don’t amount to much, you can find fantastic second-hand deals out there. And one of the good advantages of buying an affordable used motor? Lower car insurance costs too.

Look at insurance costs

Speaking of premiums, car insurance for young drivers can be high so you will want to do whatever you can to reduce the amount you spend on your insurance policy.

When you find a car you like, make sure you find out how much it would cost to insure and compare this with other vehicles on your shortlist. Typically speaking, cars with larger engines, fewer miles on the clock and fancy gizmos are more expensive, which could add hundreds of pounds on to a first-time driver’s annual policy.

Cheap to run

When it comes to thinking about how much you’re going to have to spend, don’t forget to take maintenance and running costs into account. It isn’t just a case of saving up for the car and insurance policy; you need to factor fuel, car tax and possible repairs into account as well.

According to AutoExpress, the Suzuki Celerio 1.0 SZ2 is the cheapest car to run, followed by the Peugeot 108 Hatchback 1.0 Access and the Davia Sandero 1.5 dCi Ambiance. The Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-I X and Vauxhall Viva 1.0 SE also made the top five.

Generally, motors with small engines are cheaper to fill up, while the newer the car, the more expensive replacement parts may be. However, they are also less likely to break down than older vehicles, so you might not spend as much on repairs.

Keep it simple

It wouldn’t be surprising if you wanted to get the flashiest car with the fanciest gadgets to show off to all your friends, but once you look at the price tag of these vehicles, together with their higher running costs, you might be inclined to search for a simple, fuss-free car instead.

Also, it is worth bearing in mind that flashier motors attract lots of attention, and not all of it is good. If you want to keep your vehicle away from thieves and vandals, opt for a standard second-hand vehicle – like the majority of your friends!

Pick the same car you learnt in

Even after all this, you might find the choice of cars overwhelming. So, why not stick with what you know works well and look for the car you learnt how to drive in?

If you’re comfortable with driving in that car, you understand how all the functions work and are confident at parking and its spatial dimensions, it might feel natural to buy the same car.

Confident drivers may be alright chopping and changing between different vehicles, but if that doesn’t sound like you, there’s nothing wrong with going with whatever makes you feel most at ease. After all, driving should be enjoyable so you need to be comfortable and secure behind the wheel.

Once you’ve found a car you feel happy, confident and safe driving in, your decision will be made!