Buying Your First Car After You Pass Your Driving Test
Once you've passed your driving test you'll more than likely be in a position to start looking to buy your first car. Many learner drivers are unsure of what to look out for when buying a car, the whole process can be rather overwhelming. Our driving instructors frequently get asked for guidance on this matter. You’ll come faced with many decisions, so let us help you navigate around the potential pitfalls.
The first thing you need to decide is: Are you buying a brand new car or a used car? A popular choice is to buy second hand car that is one or two years old, as they are considerably cheaper than buying brand new.
Special Offers at Blackpool Car Dealerships for New Drivers
There are many car dealerships in Blackpool that offer great deals on used cars. Buying from a car dealership has is benefits:
Pros of buying through a dealer:
- A car that has been purchased from a dealership is likely to have a Warranty
- Your consumer rights are stronger than if you buy privately.
- Car finance options are usually available, including hire purchase (HP) and personal contract payment (PCP)
Here's a list of car dealerships in Blackpool that have been known to have a good reputation
Searching Online Websites For Your First Car
Ever growing in popularity online used car websites are a great way to find a car. These virtual lots allow you to swap the visit to a showroom to browsing at your own pace. These websites still provide all the necessary information regarding each car’s condition and history.
AUTOTRADER is probably the most popular, In the search function simply enter the vehicle make and model, your budget, vehicle age, mileage etc and the search engine will do all the work. The good thing about using websites like AutoTrader is not only can your search for private sellers but many car dealers also advertise their stock on these websites
. Another popular choice for Private seller and dealers is eBay the advantage of using eBay is you may be able to get a great deal, particularly if the item is being sold as an auction listing.
Buying a car from a Private Seller
Buying private has its advantages as you're likely to pay less than you would if you purchased the same car from a car dealership. The seller may be in a hurry to sell the car so this puts you in a great position to haggle yourself to a great deal.
However, this is where you need to take extra caution, It's an exciting time buying you first car, and if you've recently just passed your driving test then you're probably really eager to get behind the wheel, all this excitement may cloud your judgment. The car could potentially be badly damaged, stolen or illegally altered. We strongly advise you follow these tips to help protect yourself when buying a car privately:
1. Check the car’s details with the DVLA
Ask the seller for the car’s:
- Registration Number (on the number plate)
- MOT test number
- Ask to see the Log Book (V5)
Take advantage of DVLA's ONLINE VECHICLE CHECKER
This will tell you if the car is taxed and MOT'd. You can also use this information to match up with the sellers information.
2. Get a history check (HPI CHECK)
This will give you valuable information about any serious problems the car might have.
It will tell you if:
- the car has been reported stolen
- There is any outstanding finance on the car
- The mileage on the car
- Number plate changes
- Information on paint or color changes
- The car has been written off or been in a serious accident.
The cost of a history check varies from website to website but prices usually start from around £15.00. THE AA is the one we generally use.
3. Make sure you view the car in person
Tempting as it may be, try not to make a purchase on a car without seeing it in person first. The seller may have lots of fancy photographs but these may have been photo shopped to hide imperfections. Inspect the car in daylight and if you can take a friend or family member with you (ideally someone who knows about cars) this will be to your advantage. Make sure you inspect the wear on the tyres, under the bonnet to check fluid levels are all topped up. Look for any dents or scratches. Look for rust spots, as these may become problematic further down the line. Ask the seller if they aware of any issues with the car and try and get as much detail as possible.
4. Take it for a test drive
Firstly, make sure you're insured to do so before test driving the car, as you could risk losing your driving licence before you've even bought your first car!
Whilst test driving the car, check that the steering feels responsive. Listen for any knocks and squeaks. Check the footbrake doesn't feel slack or spongy. Check the gears shift smoothly. It's also worth checking all the ancillary controls are working, such as Air Conditioning, window heaters, brake lights and headlights.
5. Haggle on price
Don't be afraid to haggle on price if you find any imperfections with the car. Remember, the seller has probably listed the cars selling price for much more than they will happily accept.
Most private sellers prefer cash or bank transfer. Consider that there are no extra fees or interest and sometimes you can get a discount for paying cash. However, if something goes wrong with the car you won’t have the protection that some credit arrangements offer. Before you pay for the car make sure you have the V5 and the recent MOT certificate. You and the seller will have to complete and sign a section of the V5. It's always a good idea to ask the seller to give you a receipt for the purchase.
7. Insurance and Tax
So you completed the deal and you now own your first car. Before you drive the car away make sure you get insured and the car is also taxed. This can usually be done via telephone with an insurance company. You may also need to tax the vehicle, then can be done on the DVLA website with the appropriate information on your V5. If youve already taken a Pass Plus Course with your driving instructor make sure you inform your insurance company as this may reduce your insurance quote.