Help is at hand! We share everything you need to know so you can confidently get up and running with your first car!
Buying your first car is a memory that will last you a lifetime, but it can also be a little overwhelming. Everything from your own safety to everyone else’s safety, legal requirements to just general maintenance and reducing your outgoings – it can be a big responsibility and a lot to take in to consideration.
Research your insurance options
It is really important to shop around for the best value-for-money cover. Policy prices will vary depending on your age and the vehicle that you are purchasing and going for the very cheapest policy available is not always the best way!
Look into what levels of cover are available, what the excess is and any additional driver options. Ideally you will want fully comprehensive cover, and you may want to consider black box insurance to help keep your costs down.
Pinpoint a few possible policy options and research each particularly company. Some insurance company’s reputation may be significantly better than the others, which could also influence your decision.
If looking for car insurance is getting your head in a spin, read our guide on how car insurance works.
Read your handbook
Spend some time finding out what features your car comes with and how everything works so that you feel completely confident before driving your new vehicle regularly.
The tyre pressures on your vehicle should be checked before you purchase the car but there is no harm in double checking what the pressures should be in the handbook for future reference.
In the handbook will also find information such as servicing & maintenance schedules – very important for keeping your car running smoothly and prolonging its life.
Stay up to date with service and maintenance schedules
Following on from checking your handbook for all your maintenance schedules; it is really important to keep on top of these schedules as well.
The vehicle must be MOT'd annually to ensure it is legally roadworthy.
Servicing however is a little different. Technically you don’t have to service your vehicle, however this could impact the reliability of your car & your vehicle could develop issues further down the line.
Not only this but it will also have an impact on your car’s re-sale value and future part exchange valuation if you decided to part exchange it for a newer car at a later date. If a car has full-service history, it will be worth more than a car that has no history or even partial service history.
Drive safely and efficiently
It may sound a little obvious but driving safely is not just for your safety and to prevent the chance of a road traffic accident but also to save you money! By implementing good driving habits and driving sensibly, you will put less stress on the vehicle and its components. The brakes and tyres will wear at a slower rate and we can guarantee you will find yourself at the fuel station less often!
We share more advice on how to drive more economically and efficiently.
Keep your car clean
There is no shame in having a bit of pride in your first car purchase. Keeping it clean and tidy not only looks good but it will also prevent a build up of dust and rust, which could lead to costly repairs.
Research local mechanics
Pinpointing a local mechanic with a positive reputation is good to make a note of. Whether that is a family or friend’s recommendation or just reading reviews online, you want a reliable trustworthy technician that you know is going to be reasonably priced and will always do a great job of maintaining your vehicle.
Check the essentials before a long journey
Fuel level/electric charge, oil & coolant levels, lights, brakes and tyres are all essential things that need to be checked before a long journey.
Information on how to check these will be in the vehicle handbook.
Breaking down completely out of the blue is a very daunting position to be in for anyone, let alone as a new driver.
When collecting your car, make sure it has the essentials:
- A locking wheel nut should be present if the vehicle has alloys as this will allow you or a technician to take the wheel off should you ever need too.
- The vehicle should also come with either a spare wheel or a compression kit to help you if one of your tyres ever suffers a puncture.
Alternative specific emergency kits can be bought online which can include high visibility jackets, survival blanket, first aid kit, safety hammer, a light stick, a whistle and a torch. Kits like this can be extremely useful if you ever breakdown remotely and even more so if you are by yourself.
You should also think about what to include in an emergency kit should you have a breakdown in winter during more treacherous driving conditions. Some of the essentials we’d recommend are a shovel, torch, warm clothes and blankets, food for anyone who might be in the car, hot drinks carried in a sealed flask, water, de-icer, and chains or snow grips for your tyres, a high vis jacket or vest, plus anything else you think you might need.
Still on the hunt for your perfect first car?
We have a great choice of cars available if you are still looking for your first car. Buying used or nearly new from Motorpoint means that all cars are sold with a warranty so you can buy with added peace of mind. Check out our top picks for first time drivers, browse our full range online or visit your local store to see one in person and take one out for a spin!