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How to buy your first car and not regret it

How to buy your first car and not regret it

  • Edwards
  • 07.06.2017

Looking to get that first car, but aren’t sure what to look for?

Most buying decisions are emotional. You don’t need those new sneakers, but they look cool and you think they’ll look good on you. It’s the same with that hat, that jacket or buying the latest iPhone even though your current phone is fine.

That you will make most of your buying decisions based on emotion rather than logic is what sales people are marketers are betting on. And the same goes with cars.

For first car buyers, a car is a symbol of freedom, of fun—of independence. So, it’s not surprise first car buyers are easy pickings. It’s not that they necessarily get swindled. Or cheated.

It’s more a case of seeing an affordable, second-hand car and wanting it. Because it’d be yours and you could drive and not need to borrow keys or plan your outings around buses and paying for an Uber.

Revs Check, and 4 other things you must do before buying that first car The conventional wisdom, when it comes to buying a second-hand car, is to make sure you know where that car has been. Who owned it in the past? Is it stolen? Has it been written off? How old is it? How many kilometres has it done?

Knowing the answer to these questions is necessary, both for your peace of mind and for legal reasons. If you buy a stolen car—you’re liable in the eyes of the law. After all, ignorance is no defence.

When you find a car you’re interested in, do a REVS check

A REVS check is a fairly inexpensive way to find out a car’s history. All you need is the car’s 17-digit VIN and $5.99. That’s right, if you visit it’ll only cost you $5.99 for a REVS check.

Don’t get caught out driving a car you shouldn’t. A REVS check will also let you know if you can, as a P plater drive the car. Especially since regulations came in about what types of engines a P plater is allowed to have in their car.

Four other tips for what you need to do before purchasing that second-hand car

Four keys things you need to do as well as a REVS check include:

  • Budget

    Pick a price, something you know you can either save or, if you choose to get a loan, that you can pay back in good time. Once you pick a budget keep one important thing in mind: the car is the not the only thing you’ve got to buy.

    You will also need to pay for registration, insurance and the small costs that come attached to these two things. So when you budget, keep in mind you’ll need around $1,500 for these mandatory extras.

  • Choose a dealer over a private seller

    Private sellers can be okay—but there’s very little room for error with a private dealer. They don’t have to provide you with a warranty. How could they? It’s not as though they own a mechanic’s garage to service the car.

    For your first car, it’s better for your piece of mind—and probably your wallet—if you go with a dealer. They can be a little more expensive in the initial, but they will generally give you a 2/3-year warranty which will help you in long-term.

  • Get the car checked by a professional

    If you don’t know one end of a car’s engine from the other it is worth requesting a roadworthy to make sure everything is as it should be. These can cost a couple of hundred dollars, depending on who you get to do it.

    A couple of hundred may sound a lot, but it can save you from regretting your decision. A roadworthy will help to determine the condition of the car and how much work it will need down the track. This can potentially save you thousands of dollars later on.

  • Budget for repairs

    This is different from budgeting for buying. The question you’ve got to ask yourself is: can you afford to save a little every week in case your car needs repairs?

    Alternatively, you may want to add to your buying budget finding someone who’ll provide you with an extended warranty. Either way, you need to ensure that not only can you afford to buy a car but that you can also afford to maintain it.

Don’t regret your first car, get all the facts

These are just some tips for safely buying a second-car you won’t regret. From the REVS Check, to getting the car checked out and making sure you can afford the car: it’s quite easy to safely a buy a second-hand car you won’t regret.

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