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First Car Buyers Guide

When the time comes to find your first car it can be an exciting experience, but it can also be an easy thing to get wrong if you rush into things. Here we help make your journey of buying your first car as smooth as possible.

first time car buyers guide

Research, research, research

There are dozens and dozens of factors to consider when looking for a fist car. Everything from engine size, mileage (if second hand) will not only affect the up-front cost of the vehicle, but will also have an impact on the indsurance when you get round to that stage. Look out for vehicles that mention a newly-changed cam belt or modifications that may or may not be obvious.

Don’t just shop online either. Autotrader is a great place to research vehicles from second hand dealers and private sellers, but there is only so much a website can do, if you find something you like, why not contact the owner and go and have a look at the vehicle for yourself! Afterall your only going to have a look.

Find a car with the Logbook

As a first car buyer you may be asking the question “What is a Logbook?” It is an important document that states ownership of the vehicle. It seems obvious but a mistake that people have made in the past is buying a car that doesn’t come with a logbook (or V5 registration document). This logbook is crucial in the change of ownership of the vehicle in mind. Without this important document, it would be near impossible to get insured without applying for a replacement from the DVLA (which will cost you around £25), but could also mean there is a logbook loan present with the vehicle.

Logbook lenders hold onto the logbook as a part of the security agreement for a loan, if the seller offers you a car without even the green portion of the logbook, it could have a logbook loan against it. Hopefully this would not be the case, but if it were, even though the loan might not be in your name, if the seller does not plan on repaying the loan, it could end with the reposession of the vehicle, even after it’s changed hands.

Go for a test drive

You can look at a car for hours but you can’t entirely be happy with it yourself until you get behind the wheel. Test driving is a make or break in most situations. You could love a car up until you get moving because it might not feel right or like you would have imagined. You might even notice a mechanical issue that you wouldn’t have encountered had you not have opted for a test drive such as a dodgy gearbox.


Chances are that the price the car you like is being asked for is higher than the seller is willing to see it drive off for. For instance, if a car that has caught your eye is on sale for £3000 and you’ve had a good look, the logbook is with the car and you have taken it for a spin round the block, offer £2400 for it! That way if the seller says “No chance”, you can still work your way up and (in most cases) still save some money.

Afterall it’s easier to work your way up from a low price, if you start haggling at a high price, it’s going to be almost impossible to work your way down from there.

Well we hope this will make your life a little easier when looking to buy your first car. Please feel free to post in the comments section below or visit our home page for more information.