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Should My First Car Be Cheap? Pros & Cons

At some point, every driver on the road had to purchase their first vehicle. However, before you start test driving cars, you need to ask yourself an important question. That, of course, is how much you’re willing to spend purchasing your first car.

There are many advantages to purchasing a cheap first car, whether you decide to get a new or secondhand vehicle. Opting for a cheaper first car can prevent unnecessary car debt and help you save money for other expenses. However, used cars are less reliable and more expensive to maintain.

In this article, we’re going to help you decide whether or not your first car should be a cheap one. To do this, we’re going to break down the core advantages and disadvantages of buying an inexpensive first car. Let’s take a look!

Is It Worth It Buying An Expensive First Car?

If you’re planning the purchase of your first vehicle, you might be struggling to settle on a price that you’re willing to pay. After all, it’s your first car! Now you’re wondering whether your first car should be cheap or not. Fortunately, we’re going to help you make your decision!

A cheap first car can take on different forms. Firstly, you have the option of looking at new vehicles that are on the cheaper end of the spectrum. There are plenty of new cars that won’t break the bank. However, it’s also possible to purchase a cheaper secondhand vehicle.

Ultimately, however, the car you decide to purchase comes down to your preference and your budget. To make the right decision in terms of your first car, you’ll need to consider all the benefits and drawbacks that come with purchasing a cheap first car.

Once you’ve weighed these pros and cons, you’ll know the answer to the question: “should my first car be cheap?”

The Pros And Cons Of A Cheap First Car

If you’re planning on buying a cheap first car, it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages. Luckily, we are going to help you make your decision. Keep reading as we explore the various pros and cons of purchasing an inexpensive first car! 

The Advantages Of Buying Your First Car Cheap 

Here are the main advantages of buying a first car that’s on the lower end of the price spectrum!

#1: There Are Many Great Options To Choose From

While it may take slightly longer to find the right cheap first car, it can be a highly rewarding experience. Whether you go for a budget-friendly new car or a quality secondhand vehicle, there are many great options to choose from.

If you decide to go for a secondhand car, you might even be able to find higher-end car models and more features for great prices. Of course, it will require some research on your part, but there are great bargains out there!

#2: You Can Save Money For Other Expenses

Another great advantage of buying a cheap first car is that it allows you to save money! Whether you’re looking to finally move out or simply save some cash for a rainy day, there are always advantages to setting aside some money for the future.

If you’re trying to decide between purchasing a more expensive vehicle as opposed to a cheaper option, you should carefully consider your options. This content is owned by moc.sotuaytsur. Is there anything you’re currently saving towards? Opting for a cheaper first car can help you save money for future expenses.

#3: You Avoid Unnecessary Debt

Purchasing a cheap first car can help prevent the accumulation of unnecessary debt. Cars can be expensive, and you might consider taking out a loan to purchase one. However, opting for a cheaper vehicle will allow you to take out a smaller loan. With the right cheap first car, you might not even need a loan!

In this way, this advantage is closely linked to the one discussed above. By investing in a cheaper first vehicle, you can avoid increasing the amount of money you owe. In turn, this will allow you to save for the future.

#4: It Can Be Less Stressful

Purchasing a cheap first vehicle can be a less stressful experience, especially if you’ve just started driving. Even after obtaining your driver’s license, it takes some practice to really perfect the art of driving. Statistically, new drivers get into more minor accidents than more experienced drivers.

For this reason, purchasing a cheap secondhand car can take some of the pressure off. Purchasing an expensive first car, particularly when you’re still new to driving, can be more pressure than it’s worth. Would you rather drive over a curb with your relatively cheap first car or the first car you spent too much money on?

The Disadvantages Of Buying Your First Car Cheap

Above, we looked at the advantages of purchasing a cheap first car. There are also a few possible disadvantages you should keep in mind!

#1: Your Options May Be Limited

When you’re searching for the perfect first car that won’t break the bank, you might struggle to find options. In terms of a new cheap car, you might find it difficult to find a vehicle in your price range. In terms of buying a used vehicle, it might take longer to find the right fit.

Ultimately, this disadvantage can be combatted with perseverance and continued research. As newer vehicles are released, the prices of older (yet still brand new) models will naturally be lowered. Furthermore, new secondhand cars are advertised every day as their owners decide to sell them.

#2: Safety And Reliability Isn’t Necessarily Guaranteed

Car broken down

When you invest in a cheaper vehicle, the reliability of your vehicle could be compromised. If you’re looking for a new car with a low-price tag, your car might be lacking in certain safety features that are included in other vehicles. However, with proper research, you can avoid this.

In terms of a secondhand vehicle, reliability is also more questionable. You don’t want to purchase your first car, only for it to break down a month later. To avoid this, you should always try to have a secondhand vehicle inspected by a mechanic before making your final decision.

#3: Increased Maintenance Costs

This disadvantage only applies to those who are considering a cheaper secondhand vehicle. With a new vehicle, there will be a warranty included that will cover the car for a certain period of time. However, you typically do not have this safety net with a secondhand vehicle – especially if you purchase it privately.

Secondhand cars will also have higher maintenance costs than new vehicles. Given that the vehicle has been used before, the chance of needing to replace or repair certain internal components is inevitable.

#4: Interest Rates Could Be Higher

This disadvantage only applies to those looking to finance a secondhand vehicle with a loan. If you’re looking to buy a used car with a loan, lenders may be more apprehensive in financing the purchase of your first car.

That’s because the value of the vehicle is harder to determine than that of a new vehicle. Hypothetically, if you failed to pay your monthly installments and your secondhand vehicle was repossessed, the amount the lender is able to recover is more unpredictable than if you purchased a new car.


Buying a car can be an equally exciting and stressful time – especially if it’s your first car! In this article, we highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a cheap first car. With these considerations in mind, you’re ready to decide whether or not your first car should be inexpensive.

Before buying any used vehicle, it’s always worth investing a few dollars to check the VIN number against the vehicle database. An audit with a company like VinAudit (links to VinAudit) will guard against Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuilds, Title washing, Vin cloning, and a ton of other uglies.

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