3 key factors when buying your first car

shallow focus photography of orange Volkswagen Beetle

Turning 18 means many different things. Most of all it means independence. One of the best ways to celebrate your coming of age and new-found freedom is to purchase your first car. Even better, purchasing your first car with your own money. Maybe you’ve been saving for years, maybe your parents created a little savings account for you to use or perhaps you have a little bit of cash to put down on a deposit. But, if you’re in the market for your first car then read on.

If you walked into a room of those you look up to in your life and asked them what car to purchase, you’d be surprised at the difference of opinions you’ll get. Everyone has their own taste and each person is likely to make a strong case for their cause. Ultimately though, you need to make the decision on your own. Whether you decide on visiting a lot that offers used Volkswagen cars for sale or a dealership of new and nifty Fiats, the car you eventually choose must be the best option for you. One that suits your bank balance and your lifestyle. With that said, purchasing your first car is not something you should rush into.

You should carefully consider your options and have a clear understanding of your future with the vehicle you choose and here’s why.

Be careful with colour

You might have dreamed of having a mutli-coloured Beetle since you first watched Austin Powers and were inspired by the 70s, but the future buyer of your car probably won’t share that dream. And you’re bound to eventually sell the car. So colour is important. Stick to neutrals such as white or silver. Red cars are apparently prone to accidents and black cars are extremely hot in the summer months. Even an air conditioner cannot help you when you have a molten hot steering wheel after your car’s been in the parking lot all day.

Do your research on parts

This is an incredibly important factor to consider when purchasing your first car. If you think the down payment was expensive, wait until your first service is due and you need to replace various car parts. What’s even more scary is when you’ve purchased a car with parts that are difficult to find. For instance, when Citroen first released the C2, it was cute, quick and everyone wanted one – but the authentic parts were extremely expensive as they had to be imported. Imported car parts on a student’s budget is virtually impossible. Choose a car that is well-known and one you can easily find dealerships for that have the parts you need. Also, a well-known car is easily serviced by a local mechanic. What’s more, any car with lots electronics and gadgets is going to cost you more because those gizmos are expensive to replace.

Test drive your car with a parent or the like

So, you’ve found the car you want. You’ve found it, stared at it longingly and you want to set up a test drive. That’s a great idea but an even better idea is taking someone you know and trust, and who has a bit of knowledge about cars, with you. If possible, take a family member with you on your test drive as they have a vested interest in your well being. If they’ve ever bought a car or worked on a car they’ll know what to look out for during the test drive. Also, you may take the vehicle out for a number of test drives if necessary.

As mentioned above, don’t rush this decision and if you need to make sure on a couple of things before you lay down the money, then do so.