A new drivers guide to buying your first car

Buying your first car is a landmark moment, regardless of your age. Whether you’ve saved up for a used car or planning on picking up a brand-new motor, sitting down at your own front wheel is something you’ll never forget. If you’re not sure how to go about picking the right first car, be sure to have a read of our top tips.

Choosing between new and used cars

For many new drivers, going for a used car makes sense. The smaller price tag takes some of the initial pressure off a first-time owner and there’s always an option to upgrade again in a few years. Some people like to go for a new car for their first drive, as a way to save on repairs and enjoy a warranty period. Your short term versus long term budget will be the biggest deciding factor here.

Thinking about affordability

When it comes to your first car, you want to make sure it’s one you’ll be able to easily afford. The initial price tag isn’t the only cost to consider. There are a few things to think about when it comes to owning a car, from insurance and petrol to paying for road tax. When you’re looking at the types of car you like, be sure to check how much its running costs are likely to be before committing.

Checking out insurance

Insuring your first car can be expensive, especially for younger drivers. When you’re choosing your first car, it’s worth thinking about how high your premiums are likely to be. While this can vary from car to car, there are a few basic things you can look out for. For example, insurance companies tend to offer cheaper premiums for sensible models that have less powerful engines and lower repair costs than flashier cars.

Always go for a test drive

It’s easy to pick the best first car on paper, but until you get behind the wheel you won’t know if it feels right for you. Be sure to book in a test drive and take your favourite vehicles for a spin before choosing your car, that way you can get an idea of whether you’ll feel safe and comfortable driving them or not. You want your first car to be one you enjoy.

Best car picks for new drivers

Generally, a smaller car is the best for a new driver, because they’re easier to park, run and handle. If you do need the space or prefer a bigger car, one with parking sensors and a reversing camera, could be just what you need to get started. A few great suggestions are the compact and easy to control Volkswagen Up! and the reliable Honda Civic, which is surprisingly fun to drive. The Nissan Micra looks great as well as being efficient and easy to handle, while the MINI is a classic choice for stylish new drivers.