A first car is as exciting as a first kiss. You are excited about doing it for the first time but unsure whether it will lead somewhere more permanent. Get it done without investing too much of yourself. Car purchases can be one of the most expensive mistakes in your life if not well considered.
A used car offers first-time buyers the best value for money. Wealthy people will seldom buy a new car as the depreciation is highest in year one of the cars life. Used cars with low mileage and a full-service history purchased directly from their previous owner are the best value for money.
Owning a car is a daunting prospect. The cost of fuel, tires, and scheduled maintenance must be considered when calculating the vehicle’s cost during your ownership. Let’s look at aspects to consider when buying a car.
What To Consider When Buying Your First Car?
Insurance companies make a very profitable business of managing risk. First-time car owners or drivers below the age of twenty-five have the highest risk rating of all age groups. Their risk assessment is based on the actual statistics arising from motor accident and damage claims.
That inexperienced drivers make the most driving mistakes should be neither surprising nor an indictment of youth. You are likely to have a few dents and scratches on your first car, and hopefully, nothing more serious than that. The city traffic congestion and tight parking spaces is perfect recipe for getting the bumpers to do their work.
The cost of insurance is linked to the market value of the car and the risk rating of the designated driver of the car. The higher the purchase price, the more you will pay for insurance. New cars are not without problems either, and as there is no record of repairs for a new car, you may be the one buying a lemon.
All cars, new and used, have problems! JD Power is the leading organization globally, measuring the problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) experienced during the last 12 months of the original owner’s car use. Cars with the lowest PP100 scores are the best to consider when looking for a car. The 2021 JD Power report shows that the PP100 industry average for cars in their first year of ownership is 121.
New cars, on average, had 1.21 problems within the first year of their operation. The problem may be a blown headlight bulb or a broken gearbox. A two-year-old used car will have exhibited any major problems that it might have within the first two years.
A manufacturer warranty covers new cars in the event of most major component failures. An authorized dealer will thus repair them to the satisfaction of the owner. All scheduled maintenance and repairs are recorded in the vehicle’s service manual.
You can get a full assessment and service and repair history done on a used car by an independent authority such as LemonSquad or Pomcar to conduct a physical inspection on your behalf. CARFAX reports can be obtained for $35 per vehicle identification number (VIN), providing a full history of accidents, manufacturer recalls, previous owners, and full-service history.
This data does not exist for a new car yet, so you are dealing with some uncertainty about what will be wrong with a new car. Statistically, it has 1.21 problems, according to JD Powers.
People selling their cars are known as motivated sellers. They are selling for a reason. Perhaps the reason is the affordability of the vehicle or that it has been giving technical problems that will require expensive repairs. Their motivation might be the burning desire to own a new model being launched.
Motivated sellers are willing to sell quickly to get out of their problem or into their next problem. Do your homework and get the help of a knowledgeable person to assist you in assessing the risk and value of a used car. Consider the condition of the tread-life on the tires, the condition of the oil, and any other issues that may cost you money.
Read up on the experiences of other owners of similar models and what typically goes wrong. Look at the resale value of similar models being offered online. This content is owned by moc.sotuaytsur. Speak to your bank to determine what purchase value you can qualify for and how they can assist with financing.
Add the monthly financing cost, fuel and maintenance, and insurance costs to your monthly budget. What percentage of your budget will your mobility cost be? Can you afford the car, new or used? If you are happy with your budget, prepare to make an offer on the used car that you have researched and vetted.
Make a written offer below the asking price (10% to 15%) and qualify that your offer is conditional on the vehicle passing a full assessment and that you have pre-approved finance. Be willing to up your offer, but not above the original asking price. Be willing to walk away. The seller is motivated to make the deal, let them compromise.
Where To Look For Good Value Used Cars?
Car rental companies have vehicle replacement cycles that force them to de-fleet after a certain number of months or years to maintain the optimal asset value and cash flow in their business model. Car rental companies are the best at buying value models for use in their fleets.
Look for the used cars on offer from car rental companies as these cars are well maintained, and many still have very low mileage. Also, look for private sellers advertising online or in trading magazines. Do your homework and get professional assistance in searching for the best deal.
It is worth paying a professional assessor or car finder a commission for getting you the best-used car value. Beware of used high-performance cars and sports cars as a first vehicle. These cars have been owned by people that have most likely driven them hard.
Don’t buy cars that the previous owner has modified. Modifications from the standard design are often detrimental to cars’ functional performance in some way. Stick to a stock standard vehicle as first sold by a dealer. Buy the car with the most comprehensive safety features and best fuel consumption.
Stick to car brands with a good reputation for reliability and good parts availability. The most reliable used car brand globally in 2021 is Toyota. They have been the front runner for the past forty years, and their vehicles have a good resale value for this reason.
The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global automotive supply chain has led to a surge in the market demand for new and used cars at the moment. If you can delay your purchase until this situation has been resolved, then do so. The market is currently overheated and overpriced. Consider using mobility-on-demand services, ride-sharing, or public transport alternatives in the meantime.
Making mistakes is normally not fatal but can be avoided by getting expert advice and doing your homework. Buying a used car is a good way of recycling and allows you to learn about car ownership at a lower cost. The chances are that as a novice driver, your car will get some dents and scratches.
Buy the safest, most reliable used car that you can afford. Take out comprehensive insurance and stick to the regular maintenance schedule. If you look after your first used car well, you may be able to sell it or trade for the same value when you decide to buy your next car.
A car is a means of mobility to enable the lifestyle that you want to lead. As we face the challenge of climate change in the next few decades, the concept of individual ownership of cars will become redundant to all but the wealthiest in the world. Make an informed decision. Even Warren Buffet buys used demonstration models.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.