Buying a Car: Advice for Young Drivers

Whether you're buying your first car or fifth car, it's always a good idea to follow these steps

There are plenty of bargains out there but you do need to be careful.

  • Buy with your head. No matter what your first impressions are, always ALWAYS give the car a good looking over. The car may look mint, but there could be some nasty surprises hiding under the bonnet
  • Get an HPI check. This will check to see if the car is stolen, has been written off or is still on hire purchase. The sad fact is that if you buy a stolen car and the police find out, they will take the car off you and there's nothing you can do about it
  • Go see the car in daylight. If possible arrange to see the car in during the day, it's far too easy to miss something if you look at the car in a dark street. If this can't be avoided make sure you take a good torch with you
  • Haggle. If there's something wrong with the car use it to your advantage when discussing price, perhaps a light is cracked or it needs new windscreen wipers. Don't be afraid to raise any issues no matter how small
  • Always ask them how much they want for the car. There's a chance that they may have dropped the price and you saw an old advert. This way you won't pay more than they're asking
  • Never "make do". If there's something you're not happy about with the car, walk away, there's plenty more cars out there
  • Never take their word for it. If they tell you that X needs replacing but it'll only cost £20 make sure you get a quote for it. It could be £20 for the part but the labour might cost £200
  • Get an insurance quote BEFORE you buy the car. It's a sad fact, but insurance will probably be the biggest cost after buying the car. Make sure that you can get insured on the car for what you can afford. There's no point buying a car you can't get insured on.
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