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Buying Your First Car, Need Some Advice?

by insight-social | 21 June, 2023 | | 0 comments

Buying Your First Car

Buying your first car can be one of the most memorable (and stressful) moments in your life. It signifies your hard work, and you get to enjoy the freedom of having your own spin. The excitement can be overwhelming, but you have to be careful with your choices. There are several factors to take into consideration before settling on a particular car. We have put together a guide that will help you make those all-important decisions about which car to buy and how best to insure it.

The Car

When buying a new car, you need to consider the following factors:

  • Have a Price Limit

When buying a new car, the price is the first thing you need to consider. The price tag will contribute significantly to the choice you make. Having a price limit and sticking to it is essential.  A salesperson may tempt you with shinier,  sleeker models and extras, but you need to stick to your decision. It will protect you from running into unplanned spending and maybe having to borrow to purchase the car you think you want.

Keeping in mind that you will also have to pay tax, buy insurance, as well as have fuel and maintenance costs, will hopefully help you stick to the budget. And it’s almost a rite of passage that your first car is a bit of an old banger, there’s plenty of time to get the expensive new car.

  • Check the Engine Size

Your dream car may be a flashy Lambo or Tesla, but you have to accept that until you get some real no-claims driving experience you’re better off with a small but sound car like a Toyota Yaris or Ford Fiesta.

For a driver who is still a learner or does not have a lot of experience, the best vehicle you can purchase is one with a smaller engine. It would be best to keep the engine size to 1.4 or below, rather than something like a 2.0TDi. Another thing to consider is the driving you intend to do – will you take your car for long-distance drives every day? Will you be going to work in your vehicle in the city traffic? Do you want the car for a local drive after work? Once you know how you will use your car, you will know which one to buy.

  • Buying New vs. Second Hand

According to Nifti.ie depreciation on a new car begins as soon as you leave the dealership, and can lose 20% or more of its original value within the first twelve months. By the end of its fifth year, a car could have lost up to 60% of its original value, depending on the make and model. Ideally, you expect a new car to have the latest technology and high safety standards. But just to be sure you can check the rating on platforms like Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) to get any new model’s safety standards.

Buying a used car saves you from depreciation since the first owner had already taken the depreciation hit. The NCT (National Car Test) will help in testing the roadworthiness of the car. The service history and mileage will help you know how the previous owner used the vehicle, giving you an idea of whether it will cost you more for

frequent repairs. A trusted mechanic will provide you with the best information you need to know before purchasing a used car.

  • Buying from a Dealership vs. a Private Seller

It is good to seek the opinion of several people before settling for a dealership or private seller. Someone may know a dealer offering great deals. However, many people agree that buying a car from a dealer is better than a private seller. Dealerships are transparent and responsible and provide more legal protection. Additionally, a dealer will handle all the paperwork needed; for instance, a change of ownership. You may also benefit from a short-term warranty when buying from a dealer.

  • Test Drive

After identifying the car you will purchase, the best thing to do is take it on a test drive. Ensure that you are insured to do a test drive. For someone buying from a dealership, you will use the dealership’s insurance. If you are not insured, a parent, friend, or relative can do the test drive. The test drive should give you ideas on how the car accelerates, how responsive the clutch and brakes are, how much force you need to apply the brakes. Listen if there are any sounds or vibrations and observe how smooth it is to shift the gears.

The Driver

For young drivers, it can be a daunting task to get on the road. You have to do all the driving lessons and then wait for the test (which hardly anyone passes the first time). And your lack of experience most likely means that you will pay a much higher premium starting out. And that might sound discouraging but even the most experienced drivers had their first day at the steering wheel and their first premium that may or may not have cost more than the car!

This can put young drivers under pressure as you may not have the finances needed to cover costly insurance and car expenses. As a young driver, you do not have the experience and may not know the insurance categories you need. Here are a few things to do that can help reduce the insurance premium.

Once you have done the theory test and your eyes are checked, you have to complete your 12 driving lessons. The lessons usually take several weeks to complete. It will be helpful to apply for the actual driving test immediately because you will need at least one month to wait (if you’re lucky). Once you pass the test, make the appointment to apply for your driving licence immediately. A full driving licence will be very helpful when it comes to your first-time insurance premium.

Having your licence and one year’s driving experience can help reduce the amount of insurance premium you will pay. The best thing to do is to try and have one year’s claims-free named driver experience. If you can try to get named on your parents’ car, having this experience sometimes means premiums can be lowered by a significant amount.

Another tip for young drivers is to name one of your parents on your policy as a named driver. Naming either of your parents on your insurance policy is helpful, especially if they are claims-free and points-free. Some insurance companies will give you discounts because of the named claims free driver. Their experience is a bonus for you.

The Insurance

The insurance cover on your first car is equally important. Having car insurance is an excellent statement to show financial responsibility as well as being a legal requirement.   Ideally, you will be charged a cheaper insurance premium for a new car compared to a used car. That may not be a general truth because different brands and models may attract a different premium amount.

The best thing to do when shopping for a car is to always get an insurance quote on the vehicle before buying it. It is an unpleasant feeling to buy a car and later realise that you can’t get insured on it. It would be helpful if you shop for insurance before going to the dealership. Otherwise, you may not be able to drive your car off the dealer’s lot. With insurance, here is what to do:

  • Have an Idea of the Model You Want

Imagine going to buy something you do not know!

When shopping for the available car options based on your budget, you probably identified several models that may interest you. You may talk to an insurance agent to give you some quotes for various models so that you can settle for one.

  • Comparing Quotes Based on the Insurance Company

When shopping for insurance quotes, sometimes working with a broker can help you . You can also use online comparison sites for car insurance. Different insurance companies offer varying rates, and you may have to compare so that you can settle for the one that best suits you.

  • Understand the Coverage Type You Will Need

It will help you understand the different categories of insurance that are compulsory by law and the additional ones that you may need for your car. An insurance agent can help educate you, or you may need to talk to someone who already owns a car. Or if you are buying a car on HP, the lender may require you to take comprehensive and collision insurance cover.

  • Do Not Assume that Your Parents’ Insurance is the Best for You

Although a particular company may have insured your parents for a long time, it may still not be the best company to insure you. The pricing of car insurance premiums is done individually and is depends on several factors. The best thing for you to do is to shop around and compare different insurance companies quotes. Even if your parents think that their insurance company offers fair prices, it may not mean they have the best quote or policy for you.


Your first car is one of the assets you will cherish all your life, and you don’t want to regret buying it. Having the necessary information on cars and insurance and taking the steps needed to help reduce premiums can help make it a great experience.  And if you have any questions about anything you’ve read or need advice on your first insurance, you can talk to one of our experienced personal lines team here or you can email them here!

Happy Driving!

The is to convey how scary it can be driving for the first time.
Scared girl driving.