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#1 02-07-06 12:59:13

DampDog
Verified Member
From: Staffordshire.
Registered: 04-02-06
Posts: 1,538

Your first car....

I’ve seen a number of posts asking questions about what sort of car should I buy for my first car, so I though I’d put together a few pointers that may help the first time buyer.

OK so I’ll assume like most of us your first car will be second hand.

Decide what you can afford, sounds obvious I know but lots of people dive in and buy a nice shiny new car, only to realise that they can’t afford drive anywhere.

Things you should consider.

Insurance.
First and foremost as a new driver will be the cost of insurance, unfortunately this can easily be £1000 or more for your first car. So when you spot your “Dream car” find out what it will cost to insure, BEFORE YOU BUY. Make sure that you know the “EXACT” model you are looking at; it’s surprising how much difference different models of the same car can be. A 1.1L is likely to be cheaper than a 1.1L Ghia. Don’t assume your first insurance quote will be your best, ring around some insurance companies will do quotes via the Internet.

Running cost
Obviously you’re going to want to keep you “Dream car” in tip top condition, and legal for the road. Ideally you want to have all of the following already in place.

Road Tax.
Ideally the car should have a minimum 6-12months Road Tax. If not, 12 months road tax will cost in the region of another £110. Though it can be done for 6 months at a time, that works out slightly dearer.
( See link for current rates Road Tax)

MOT.
Again the car should have a minimum of 6-12 months MOT. If the car requires an MOT certificate, that will cost around £35 for the test alone. That assumes it passes the test, if not the bill can quickly run into a couple of hundred pounds, often considerably more with older cars.

Service cost.
Most cars will need to be serviced every 10-12k miles, or once a year whichever comes first. Taking the car to a main dealer should ensure the quality of work and parts, but is usually the most expensive way to go. A minor service normally costs in the region of £100-120 and a major £140-170ish.

Some of the smaller independent garages are very good and much cheaper. But if possible take it to one that has been recommended by a friend who uses them. Most are reputable, but some will see a young driver as easy prey and hike their prices accordingly. Others try to keep costs low buy using poor quality parts and un-trained mechanics.

If you are mechanically minded you can service your own car, this means you can save on the labour costs, most service parts can be sourced from your local “Motor Factors” or even Halfords. The downside is safety, you will need to raise the car off the ground in some instances and this brings its own problems. Disposing of old engine oil is governed by legislation and will need to be done correctly.  As a minimum it's worth investing a few pounds in the correct workshop manual for your car.(Haynes) It'll give you a fair idea where things are located, how they undo, how tight they should be, and the correct types of fluids to use for top-ups.

General wear and tear.
Simply because you use them and in most cases your car will stand out in the elements, things will wear out and break. Tyres, exhausts, brakes, etc. The annoying part is that they always break when you can least afford them, normally when it’s raining, cold and dark, miles from anywhere. A tyre can set you back £40+, depending which part of the exhaust packs in, it can be anything from £20 for a simple transfer pipe, to £250 for a catalytic converter. So you need to set a little aside for the things that go wrong.

So your new car is already potentially going to cost you

£1000+ to insure
£110 Road Tax
£35 MOT
£150 ish Servicing cost

That’s almost £1300 and you not even started to pay for it! So you need to do your home work and find out about these costs before buying the car.


So you’re looking for your “Dream car” What next?

If you have any mates or relatives who know a little about cars, take them with you for a second opinion. It also helps you stop being bullied/persuaded by the sales guy. Get yourself a  PARKERS GUIDE or similar form WH Smiths or your local newsagent. It will give you an idea of the price you should be paying, also they have a little section for each car, common faults with that model, mpg, insurance group, etc. Go and have a look at a few cars of the type you want, you'll then start to get an idea of the difference between a "Good-un" and a "Wrong-un".

The choice of small cars is bewildering. So long as they have been cared for most small cars are reasonably reliable. Fords and Vauxhalls tend to be a little cheaper for parts as there's so many of them around, even Halfords will have most of the bits. Looking at the car there are obvious things to look for that may give you a clue as to its previous life. How many owners has it had, one careful owner form new are scarce, but they are out there. If the cars had a whole string of owners chances are they parted with it for a reason.

Service history.
Older cars probably won’t have a full service history but should have at least some, if they have bills for any work that’s been done it’s normally a sign that the cars been well cared for, for at least some of its life.

Make sure that the car has it’s log book, check the details, chassis number etc, against the car.

Check for wear and tear.
if the pedals look really worn, yet the Speedo. Say’s it’s only done 18000 miles be suspicious. Look at seats and trim, do they look as if they’ve had a hard life. Lift the bonnet, engines get a little dirty but should not be filthy and should have no signs of leaks or that someones been meddling. Check the bodywork for knocks, scratches, dents, etc. you may be able to use them later to negotiate a better price.

Are they willing to throw in a warranty, 3-6 months is a minimum.

Consider the Garage where you intend to buy it from.
Is it local? If the car does go wrong you don't want to travel miles just to get it fixed.  Have they been around for years? Surprising how many small garages appear and disappear every few month.

If you really have your heart set on the car, might be worth getting it inspected by the RAC or AA, this cost around the £100 mark, better waste £100 than £3500 on a lemon. Also get the car HPI checked they should be able to verify the mileage and that the car is clear of outstanding finance.


Loans.
If you intend to borrow the money, try to get it sorted before you buy the car. That way you'll have your maximum spend already fixed and not be tempted to overspend. Don’t forget the stuff I’ve already mentioned, Insurance, Tax, Running cost, and include then in the amount you want to borrow.

Though bank loans may not be quite a cheap as Garage HP, the advantage is that the loan won't be tied to the car, so if it turns out to be a lemon you can swap it. With HP your tied into the car until you've paid back every last penny. Interest rates are good at the mo so 5.5-6.5% should be do able. (Compare loans here LOANS)

Also having the cash at hand will give you extra bargaining power, wave the cash under the sales guys nose. ( But don't tell him how much you've got, he'll do his level best to take it all)

Take your time.
We've all been there, "I've just seen this car, "It's fantastic" if I don't buy it today, it will be gone!".

Well it was for the first 6 months, now it wont start in a morning, the exhaust has dropped off and I've got to keep paying for it for the next 3 years, you'll be surprised just how quickly the "Newness" wears off.

Good Luck

Hope this helps


DD

All the links highlighted bold blue should work and redirect you to the sites mentioned.. smile



ADI (car)
1st CT (5)

I used to be a compleat idiot, until some bits fell off...

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02-07-06 12:59:13

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Re: Your first car....



#2 02-07-06 14:11:19

Gizmotime
Administrator
From: Bolton Lancashire
Registered: 05-04-04
Posts: 1,962

Re: Your first car....

Hi DampDog,

Thanks very much for your very detailed post I'm sure everyone will find it helpful wink


Giz

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#3 02-07-06 16:42:23

DampDog
Verified Member
From: Staffordshire.
Registered: 04-02-06
Posts: 1,538

Re: Your first car....

Thanks very much for your very detailed post I'm sure everyone will find it helpful wink

lol..."Detailed"...... Count yourself lucky I didn't get my book of chassis numbers out...... big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile


ADI (car)
1st CT (5)

I used to be a compleat idiot, until some bits fell off...

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#4 02-07-06 18:15:31

Gizmotime
Administrator
From: Bolton Lancashire
Registered: 05-04-04
Posts: 1,962

Re: Your first car....

Gizmotime wrote:

Thanks very much for your very detailed post I'm sure everyone will find it helpful wink

lol..."Detailed"...... Count yourself lucky I didn't get my book of chassis numbers out...... big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile

Now that would have been interesting. big_smile big_smile big_smile big_smile

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#5 22-08-06 11:11:02

Taker
Member
Registered: 17-03-06
Posts: 148
Website

Re: Your first car....

smile

Good Post

Really Does Help


spiderman.jpg

1st practical test 20/11/06...Failed 2 serious 13 minors
2nd practical test 25/1/07...Failed 1 serious 13 minors
3rd practical test 15/2/07 I Passed 7 minors  big_smile big_smile

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#6 03-09-06 11:39:37

timmanwaringadi
Verified Member
From: Devon
Registered: 29-08-06
Posts: 2,406
Website

Re: Your first car....

spend as much as you can on the ugliest smallest thing possible! cheap insurance, and it won't have been owned by a boy racer!

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#7 05-09-06 15:25:09

DriverWench
Member
Registered: 05-09-06
Posts: 6

Re: Your first car....

spend as much as you can on the ugliest smallest thing possible! cheap insurance, and it won't have been owned by a boy racer!

Hahahahaha but true. Avoid red cars, avoid sporty-looking cars, especially if there's any hint of boom-boxage or body modification such as lowering of suspension.

My first ever car was a Renault 5 GTL (in 1977) and it was a lovely little thing..
I now drive a Renault 5 Campus Prima (M reg, 1400cc) and it is a right cracker. 
And it cost me all of £550.  Perfect tin-overcoat-on-wheels and it shifts very nicely when asked.
Very nicely indeed.

I absolutely agree with the requirement for a Haynes manual, one that you actually, like, USE, and practise basic maintenance and wheel-changing with the new driver until they're confident of doing it on their own. 

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#8 05-09-06 19:44:09

Gizmotime
Administrator
From: Bolton Lancashire
Registered: 05-04-04
Posts: 1,962

Re: Your first car....

gotta love  Gizmos' signiture avatar.

Why thankyou, I love it as well. big_smile

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#9 22-12-06 10:51:10

Zipper
Verified Member
From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: 20-08-04
Posts: 2,690
Website

Re: Your first car....

DampDog's article doesn't exactly fit the "Learning to Drive" paradigm but it does have very useful information for learners - I would like to see it in the "Learner's Articles". What do you think jonks?


Zipper ("G'Day Mate!")
I'm not 65! I'm only $59.95+tax
www.drivingnt.com

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#10 19-05-07 08:02:33

dwalin
Member
Registered: 15-09-06
Posts: 358

Re: Your first car....

thank you that was really informative and as im asking hubby to purchase a little car for me .dwalin

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#11 19-05-07 12:02:13

DampDog
Verified Member
From: Staffordshire.
Registered: 04-02-06
Posts: 1,538

Re: Your first car....

Oooh forgot about this, I'll freshen it up a bit when I get a minute and make sure all the highlighted links still work. Nice to see peeps are still finding it useful... big_smile big_smile


ADI (car)
1st CT (5)

I used to be a compleat idiot, until some bits fell off...

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#12 09-08-07 13:40:47

Lily
Guest

Re: Your first car....

Informative indeed. Now we have choices. big_smile

#13 09-04-08 00:09:53

ledzepploid
Member
From: Greater Manchester
Registered: 16-03-08
Posts: 6

Re: Your first car....

Very handy thread smile What about the pros and cons of purchasing a car from a private seller or an auction rather than a dealership?  There any particular makes or models that should be avoided? Which are the most popular models? Whats the max engine size a first time buyer should be looking at?

I like the look of the Volkswagen Polos. A 1.0L 3 door hatch back from 1998 costs about £800 on auto trader and in my area around £850-900 to insure (3rd party fire and theft).  Worth it or is there better value with other models?

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#14 09-04-08 17:48:38

dog
Verified Member
Registered: 29-10-06
Posts: 813

Re: Your first car....

There any particular makes or models that should be avoided?

Ford. lol

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#15 02-02-10 19:28:11

GoInstructor
Member
From: United Kingdom
Registered: 21-01-10
Posts: 10
Website

Re: Your first car....

Some good information there I'm sure people will find it usefull!

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#16 06-12-10 13:49:33

yesdriving
Verified Member
From: Dorset, Poole, Bournemouth, Wi
Registered: 13-03-10
Posts: 18
Website

Re: Your first car....

My first car was a Citreon Saxo 1998, 1.0L!

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#17 13-02-11 13:59:49

raymondtt
Member
Registered: 25-12-10
Posts: 10
Website

Re: Your first car....

Great advice.Thank you

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#18 13-02-11 14:35:09

gadgetdriver
Member
From: Sunderland
Registered: 27-01-11
Posts: 95
Website

Re: Your first car....

Didn't I make the right choice? My first car was a 1974 Bond Bug.
smile)

Available in any colour you like as long as it's orange.


ADI since 2004.
Producer of animated and printed briefing materials.
www.drivertrainingacademy.com

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#19 05-11-11 18:44:31

Barry500
Member
From: Ipswich, Kesgrave, Woodbridge.
Registered: 27-11-10
Posts: 491
Website

Re: Your first car....

Mk one Capri Light blue a 1971 plate Built when I was 6 years old.

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#20 05-11-11 19:08:08

martin Williams
Verified Member
Registered: 26-06-09
Posts: 1,144

Re: Your first car....

A Corgi  big_smile

Followed by a Morris Marina what a load of rubbish that was. sad

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#21 12-01-13 09:52:47

dave2000
Verified Member
From: Herts
Registered: 09-01-13
Posts: 48
Website

Re: Your first car....

Great advice,  my first car was 1979 ford escort , how I miss it big_smile

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#22 25-02-13 23:25:41

Saint_Albans_ADI
Member
From: Saint Albans Hertfordshire
Registered: 19-02-13
Posts: 30
Website

Re: Your first car....

My first car was a triumph spitfire ...not bad at 17

Then got a Triumph stag for 2300 did it up and sold it for just under 9,000

Then for a crazy reason I bought a Transam ....I was Michael Knight ! and that cost me 6,000 spent 3,000 on it and then sold it for 3,000

After coming out of rehab for depression i bought a few motorbikes and then my first teaching car a 1.0 Micra


Driving Lessons in and around Saint Albans Hertfordshire
www.i-passed.co.uk

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#23 26-02-13 07:50:07

kaf
Verified Member
From: Wiltshire
Registered: 05-08-07
Posts: 3,324
Website

Re: Your first car....

Vauxhall victor, column gearchange and front bench seat!

Then 3 capri's

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#24 26-02-13 08:18:27

Triplea35
Verified Member
Registered: 28-09-12
Posts: 500

Re: Your first car....

A souped up Morris Minor (moggy) reg no 20 EUA, followed by an almost new mini reg VUP 223L.

Boy, did I enjoy those cars!

I've always hankered over a Morris Traveller and my wife wanted to treat me recently to a restored one for a milestone birthday.
Found nostalgia is far more fun than reality!

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#25 26-02-13 08:34:48

Evan
Administrator
Registered: 27-12-09
Posts: 2,058

Re: Your first car....

Vauxhall Viva, when you got up to 70mph you were unable to have a conversation, well you could have a conversation but your passenger could not hear you or you them  big_smile

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