Buying your first car, much like investing in a home for the first time, is one of those rites of passage that you will never forget. But it can be confusing, not to mention overwhelming, making a decision on what wheels to go for.

You might well have your heart set on a brand new car, complete with shiny alloy wheels, but does your budget really extend to that? It’s not just the car finance you need to consider, it’s also the insurance. Should you go for manual or automatic, petrol or diesel? And don’t even get us started on the colour of the paint work!

So to help you make an informed decision, we’ve put together our top tips to help anyone out there currently looking to purchase their first car.

How to Purchase Your First Car – A Beginners Guide!

  1. New or Used?

Although a new car can be a very attractive proposition, used cars are definitely more cost effective which makes them overall more suitable as a first time purchase. If you are only just starting out on your motoring journey, it makes sense to go for a good used car. There’s a huge range of options to choose from and you’re more likely to find something that’s right for you at a price that fits your budget.

  1. How Much Money Should you Spend on a New Car?

Running a car can be expensive, so it’s important to assess your needs and preferences and opt for a vehicle that reflects those. WIll you be regularly covering long distances on the motorway, or do you just need a little local run around? Get clear on your motoring needs and then you can fix a budget. You can get an excellent used car for about £6000 with monthly finance payments of around £100.

  1. What Kind of Car Should you Choose?

By this we mean hatchback, saloon, estate or an SUV. Those are roughly the four main categories of cars available. Sure, there are other shapes, and sports cars are undeniably attractive, but as a first purchase, a hatchback is the most popular choice. Compact, efficient, cost-effective and generally featuring five seats and a boot large enough to accommodate all your everyday essentials.

  1. Cost of Insurance

This is a super important one. All cars are allocated an insurance group ranging from 1 to 50 with 1 being the cheapest to insure. As a general rule of thumb, an inexpensive car with a smaller engine will keep your insurance costs down. You can check on a site like www.justcarchecks.co.uk.

  1. Should I go for Petrol, Diesel or Electric?

Petrol is the  most popular choice. As a first car purchase they’re light, normally cheaper like-for-like than diesel, quieter to run and less prone to problems. However, if you intend to make regular and long motorway trips, diesel will work out more efficiently overall. Electric cars are a lot more expensive and better suited to shorter distances.

  1. Car Warranty

Whatever you have your heart set on, be sure to check that the warranty is adequate. Most new cars come with a three-year warranty, so if you buy a used car that is two years old, you’ll still have one year left on the original warranty.