Buying your first car can be an exciting, but daunting experience. Below is a guide to make the process easier and take the stress out of everything from what model to choose, to which insurance to buy.
What’s the best first car to buy?
First of all decide how much you can afford to pay for your first car. Not just the sum of money to buy the car itself but also the running costs – car insurance, MOT, road tax, petrol, repairs and servicing.
Buying a very fast, powerful car will cost you a fortune in insurance, never mind the initial outlay. A performance car isn’t a great idea for an inexperienced driver, your speed is more likely to ‘creep up’, making it easier to lose control. Consider a smaller car as the controls are lighter, parking is easier and insurance is cheaper.
How do I go about buying it?
With a figure in mind it’s time to do your homework. Research reviews to decide on the right make for you. Magazines such as Parkers and The Which Car Guide rate, review and price all types and models of cars (helping you to avoid being overcharged).
Where should I look for a car?
If you’re buying a new car go to a recognised dealer. If you want a used car, try franchised dealers for the best after-sales support but expect prices to be higher. Independent dealers generally offer a wide variety of potential first cars at lower prices. However, variable used car quality and after-sales service.
If you’re buying privately you’ll have lots of cars to choose from and low prices. However, there will be no after sales service and you could get ripped off. If you buy your first car privately you have fewer legal rights. The car must be as described but the other rules don’t apply.
What do I do when I find a car?
Ask about its service history and check the car’s documentation, including vehicle registration certificate (V5C), which shows the registered keeper of a car; MOT certificates (make sure they are annual if the car is more than three years old); and paperwork showing its full service history. Be aware that an MOT certificate doesn’t mean a car is roadworthy or safe. It means it has passed the MOT test on the date the test was done.
Should I test drive the car?
Most definitely, especially if you are considering buying a used car. When you do, make sure you’re insured to drive the car you’re about to test drive! Always start the engine from cold. If the engine has already been warmed up you won’t get to see if there are any cold-start or cold-running problems. Make sure you test drive the car for at least 30 minutes. The aim is to see if you like the feel of the car and if the steering and brakes work properly. Don’t be pressurised into buying on the spot and don’t be afraid to haggle.
When should I get insurance?
Before test driving the car, find out the car’s insurance grouping and get at least one insurance quote to find out roughly how much you’ll be paying if you were to buy the car. Remember to make sure you’re covered for your test drive via the dealer or the private buyer. Then as soon as you decide to buy the car, shop around for insurance – most dealers will take a deposit (make sure you get a receipt) and save the car for you while you do this.
Take Pass Plus which is a course designed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) that will boost your driving experience. When you have successfully completed the course, you can get major discounts on insurance offered by companies taking part in the scheme. To find out more about Pass Plus call Surrey Driving Force on 0845 190 2012 or email email@example.com
How and when do I pay road tax?
Road tax is valid for six or twelve months and the tax disc is displayed on the vehicle. When the tax has run out (check the date on the disc) you need to apply for a new one by filling out a form (V10) at the post office and producing your Vehicle registration document, a valid certificate of insurance and an MOT certificate. With the correct documents you can also renew your car tax on the vehicle licence website.
How and when do I pay my MOT?
A valid MOT certificate is required on a vehicle’s third anniversary of registration.
An MOT costs approximately £50 for a car which seats up to eight passengers and the certificate is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
When buying a used car from a dealer choose a local company with a good reputation. Also, it’s worth asking family and friends for recommendations.
WHAT OUR STUDENTS ARE SAYING…
I really recommend David as an instructor, he was really patient and friendly, always explained everything really clearly and had several different approaches to try if I found something challenging. I was quite nervous at times but David really put me at ease, I felt very prepared and passed first time! Big thank you to David!
MASSIVE thank you to Debbie at SDF, thanks to you I passed first time! She was always so patient and explained everything step by step and throughly! Always made me feel at ease. Would highly highly recommend Debbie. Thank you you for being the best instructor!!!
100% recommend this company to anyone. I had Steve as my driving instructor and can say he has brilliant techniques to teach people, as well as having a great attitude towards learners, he always knows how to bring positive thinking to the table and is great character to be around. Made the learning experience so much more enjoyable. Also had a few first lessons with Leon, who is also a great driving instructor! They prepare you for all aspects of driving and really go above and beyond for their students.
Thanks so much to steve for making me feel confident driving so I could pass first time with one minor- I’ve had loads of fun with you over the past couple of months
Where do I begin? Steve has been without a doubt the BEST driving instructor I have ever had. When I finally passed I had ben learning on off for 4 years since I was 17. I finally passed 5th time with Steve today in Chertsey. Despite the fails, the tears and my on non-belief in myself Steve has always believed in me and encouraged me not to give up when at times I couldn’t see a positive outcome. Steve is a warm, funny and kind instructor and he made learning to drive a truly enjoyable experience. All of the instructors on Surrey Driving force are in a league of their own and are high quality, experienced instructors. I will really miss Steve and could not recommend him enough, my pass today is as much his success as mine, Love Tam xx
I highly recommend Steve and the Surrey Driving Force! He went above and beyond to ensure that I passed my test first time. He was a very patient, clear, friendly and funny instructor. He also helped to improve my driving drastically within a short space of time. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher or driving learning experience.
So happy I passed my test today at the first time of trying with just 4minors! Big thanks to Rob Andrews he built up my confidence to enable me to pass first time. Would highly recommend!
Vince was an amazing instructor. Extremely patient, thorough and professional, he made me feel at ease throughout the process.
I can’t thank Rob Andrews enough for teaching me to drive. I was incredibly nervous to start driving (I had no previous driving experience) but Rob could read my body language and tailored his teaching to suit me precisely. Whenever I’d make a mistake, he would never shout at me, but instead would make light of the situation in a way I’d remember so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. Having driving lessons with Rob was a joy as he made me laugh regularly whilst teaching thoroughly. Rob gave me the confidence boost I needed to get on the roads and pass first time. If you’re a nervous character like myself, I’d recommend Rob absolutely any day, as I felt relaxed within 10 minutes of meeting him on our first
Passed with one minor, thoroughly recommend