Top Tips for buying your first car

Buying your first car?

Top Tips for buying your first car by Delamere Motors

Have you been saving your pennies in the hope of cashing them in to purchase a car? Chances are if this is you then you’ll have worked hard for your money and will be wanting to make sure you get the best value for money possible. There are so many options available to you, from auctions to car dealers and private sellers. So, which one should you go with? How do you know what kind of car to look out for? Is the car you’re purchasing in good condition? If these are questions you’re asking yourself, keep reading as Delamere Motors considers some of the basics of buying a car.

Woman holding the key to her car

Before you buy your car – save your pennies

The first thing you need to do is budget how much you want to spend on buying your car. If you’ve saved £2,000 then that’s your budget. However, don’t feel like you need to spend all that money on a car if you have found one that meets your criteria for half the price. You could use the additional money and put it towards your first year of insurance.

Take it for a test drive

When you’ve seen a car that you potentially want to buy you should try and take it for a test drive. Always make sure that the vehicle is correctly insured before test driving, particularly with private sales. A test drive will allow you to get to grips with the car as well as let you see if there is anything suspicious about the car. Check for any odd noises from the engine, and listen out for any knocking, banging or grinding from the wheel areas whilst braking and cornering. If you can, try a three point turn on full lock to check the steering and front suspension. Check for excessive smoke from the exhaust when starting the car and revving the engine, and make sure it idles evenly when the engine first starts, as well as once it’s up to temperature.

Visual inspection

You should do a visual inspection of the car before you buy it. Look at the bodywork of the car to see if there is any visible damage or rust. You should check the engine – open the bonnet and check the oil, it should be brown and somewhat transparent. If it is black then it is an indication that the oil may not have been changed regularly. If there’s anything that looks like mayonnaise inside the oil filler cap, don’t buy it! It’s a warning sign of major engine trouble. It’s worth checking the tread depth of the tyres because the deeper the tread, the longer the tyres will last.

Budget the month to month cost of running your car

This may seem quite self-explanatory. It should be done before you buy your car as you’ll need to make sure your monthly income can cover the costs of keeping your car running. Car insurance is possibly the biggest chunk of money you’ll see when budgeting, particularly if you’re a young, first time driver. You should use different comparison websites to secure the cheapest car insurance deal. This will take a bit of time but will save you a sizable chunk of cash. You can also get a telematics box installed in your car which will monitor your’ driving; often policies with telematics boxes can be the cheapest option for new and young drivers. If you drive sensibly you will see a long term decrease in the price of your car insurance.

Your MOT is also something that can cost you a varying amount year to year, depending on the amount of work that needs to be done on it. One way to keep the cost down is through regular servicing. At Delamere Motor’s, we offer a variety of service options for all types of vehicle and budget. Even if you can’t afford a major service when it’s due, it’s always good to have the essentials addressed, such as changing the oil and filters. The basics are all covered within our interim service option at Delamere. Regular servicing and maintenance is the best way to minimise the chances of getting a nasty surprise when your MOT test comes around.

Delamere Motors is your local garage in Telford, always on hand to provide advice and guidance on your car maintenance and motoring issues.