What to look for when buying your first car

When buying a car, you need to study the service history, take a test drive, and know all the upcoming costs up front. Take an experienced friend to ask questions.

With a figure in mind it’s time to do your homework. Magazines such as The Which Car Guide rate, review and price all types and models of cars, helping you to avoid being overcharged.

If you’re buying privately you’ll have lots of cars to choose from and low prices. However, there will be no after sales service and you could get ripped off. If you buy your first car privately (rather than a second-hand dealer) you have fewer legal rights. The car must be as described but the other rules don’t apply.

What do I do when I find a car?

  • ask about its service history.
  • check the car’s documentation: vehicle registration certificate (V5C) (which shows the registered keeper of a car), MOT certificates (make sure they are annual if the car is more than three years old), and paperwork showing its full service history.
  • be aware that an MOT certificate doesn’t mean a car is roadworthy or safe. It means it has passed the MOT test on the date the test was done.
  • don’t be pressurised into buying on the spot and don’t be afraid to haggle.
  • do test drive the car if you are insured to do so, to see how well it drives.
  • take someone with you who has more experience of buying a car – this will help show you the right questions to be asking and things to be looking for.

Source: The AA

Read more

  • Motoring Guide – Buying a car @ Merlin Helps Students

    Excerpt: Buying a new car can be an expensive business so making sure that you get the right car for you is paramount. A car purchase is normally the largest outlay you will make next to buying a house. There are a lot of factors that affect your car buying decision, the size and type of car, where to buy, type of motoring, the maintenance and running costs, your personal preferences, when to buy and probably the most important factor – the cost!


  • Buying Your First Car – A Guide For First Time Car Buyers @ Driving Test Success

    Excerpt: Ask the seller to provide you with a copy of the service history manual and the user manual. Look at the service history to see how often the car has been serviced. The manual will tell you the service schedule. Each service entry should be stamped with the mechanics stamp and dated. Look to see if any other work has been carried out on the car. A good service history will also have receipts for work carried out. If the seller can’t provide any service history information then assume the car has been poorly looked after.

Message supplied by: Rich @ Respect Yourself