Buying your first car is a major milestone, and something you’ll probably remember for the rest of your life. It’s easy to get caught up with all the exciting details such as the model, the colour and specifications – imagining yourself cruising around in your own set of wheels. However, you need to take a few important (and perhaps less fun) things into account first, to make sure that your final decision is a happy one.

Do your research

This is something we can’t stress enough. It has never been easier to find out everything you need to know about the car you want and the ways to finance it. The more research you do, the better prepared you will be to get your ideal car. It will be especially useful when it comes to discussing with your vehicle trader – if you can demonstrate your knowledge to a car dealership salesman, they will be far more likely to get the best deal possible.

Set your budget

Financing your first car is probably the biggest budgeting responsibility you’ve had. It’s vital to understand what you can afford to avoid any future financial problems. It’s best to start with any living costs you might have, such as your food, social events and rent/mortgage payments. Once that’s been calculated you’ll know how much is leftover to pay for car insurance, petrol, car maintenance and your finance plan. It’s best to be conservative with your numbers to make sure that you’re financially secure.

Car finance options

You may be purchasing your first car through a car finance agreement. There are plenty of options available to you and you should take your time to understand each one to make your final decision. Many lenders will accept first-time car buyers, especially if you have built up a good credit profile. Alternatively, you may be able to secure a Guarantor Loan, explained in more detail here.

Negotiate the price

Regardless of the fact that you’re a first-time car buyer, you should still be able to negotiate on the price of a vehicle. A lot of this comes down to your research on the vehicle – you can conduct an online investigation into the car’s true value to give you some idea. It’s also good to understand what factors contribute to the value of a car and express your knowledge to the car dealer.

Take a test drive

This is one of the final and most important parts of buying your first car – always ask to drive the car you’re looking to buy. Be wary of any dealer who offers you a test drive in a similar car when there’s no feasible reason for it, this could mean that the car you’re looking to buy has some undisclosed issues. It’s also important to test drive a car as it will most likely be very different from the car you’ve been learning on. It’s vital that you feel comfortable in your first car to avoid the chances of you driving the car improperly.

We understand that buying your first car is a very exciting experience, but it’s also important that you go through all the necessary processes before you sign on the dotted line. We hope that our tips will help to make this easier for you and (more importantly) we hope that you get the perfect first car for you!

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 24.6%, annual interest rate (fixed) 24.57%, 47 monthly payments of £237.00 followed by 1 payment of £247.00 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £3,886.00, total amount payable is £11,386.00.

My Car Credit is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!