Buying a car for the first time can be an exciting yet confusing prospect. Whether you’ve just successfully passed your driving test on the first attempt (OK maybe third) or have been able to drive for years but never purchased your own car, there are many avenues to go down. Do you choose a brand new car straight from the showroom, or do you opt for a reliable used vehicle with a few miles on the clock? Not only that but how will you pay for it, savings? A personal loan? Car Finance? There are many things to consider as a first-time car buyer, so here are a few options to help point you in the right direction.
Car Finance or Savings?
You might be fortunate enough to amass some savings to put towards your first car purchase, either enough to cover the entire cost, or like often the case, enough for a small chunk or deposit. Depending on the value of the vehicle, you may need to opt for paying what you are able and spreading the rest of the cost over finance. There are a few options with car finance and the ones available to you will depend on your current credit and credit history. All car lenders will have criteria you’ll need to meet, and if you have a bad credit history or low credit score, you may not be able to choose a hire purchase (HP) agreement or a car leasing option on the vehicle you want. There are however, bad credit car loans available that will help in this situation, usually on a selection of quality used vehicles. Whether you currently have a good or bad credit rating, you could still find and buy your first car on finance if savings or other means are not a valid option. Like with any form of borrowing, make sure you can afford to commit to the monthly repayments first and that you are able to maintain them. This way, you’ll avoid falling into any financial difficulties during the term and the potential consequences of late payment charges.
New vs Used Cars
Whilst owning a brand new car off the factory production line is desirable, it can be the most expensive option. That’s why the used car market is worth browsing, as you will be able to find used or nearly new cars (those under 2 years old) that are in great shape and usually available at a fraction of the cost. Of course, the older the vehicle you choose to buy, the cheaper it could be, but this may come with more yearly maintenance costs. It’s worth doing your homework and setting out the terms of a used car you are willing to accept. Whether it's under a certain mileage, age since registered or condition, you should determine the type of used car you are interested in. This way you’ll able to find the perfect used car that is a balance of great value and condition.
With this in mind, choosing reputable dealers of new and used cars will also ensure whichever you choose, that you’ll be treated fairly. You don’t want to be in a position of paying over the odds for the vehicle you want, so check the terms including the interest rate and any additional options such as insurance, making sure you are happy with the total finance deal before signing. Once you have found the car you want and arranged affordable finance, you can finally tick this right of passage off of the list and enjoy owning your first car.