Buying your first car can be an exciting experience, but it’s important to do a little research and this guide will bring you through the process step by step.
Getting your first car, as well as the independence that comes with it, is a thrilling experience. You may drive whenever you want, organize a spontaneous road trip with your friends, and best of all, you’ll never have to wait for a bus, train, or tram again!
However, there are a few things you should know before buying your first car before driving off into the sunset. It pays to be aware of what to look out for and to be aware of all the accompanying expenditures.
We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.
We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.
Choosing The Right Car For You
When deciding what type of car to buy, it’s critical to be practical.
1. What is your financial situation?
For your first set of wheels, you’ll most likely go for a used car; however, if you have the financial means, a new car can provide benefits such as a full new car warranty, lower maintenance expenses, and the ability to customize the colour and features of your vehicle. Because you’re likely on a budget, avoid getting distracted by cars that aren’t part of your budget. Your budget must also take into account some of the easily forgotten costs such as transfer fee on purchase, insurance, annual registration, and maintenance costs including servicing, tyres, cleaning and of course petrol!
2. What will your car be used for most of the time?
You should also think about how you’ll use the vehicle. For example, if you spend most of your time zipping around the city, an SUV is generally not the greatest choice. As a general rule, the larger the engine, the more the initial and ongoing costs will be. In fact, in certain states, V8 or turbocharged engines are prohibited for young drivers. Smaller cars are often more cost-effective.
3. Do your research
You most likely have a specific brand and model in mind, so make sure you thoroughly explore all elements of owning this vehicle. Some cars may appear inexpensive to purchase, but they might be extremely expensive to maintain or even have special reliability difficulties. Consider if you want a manual or automatic (manuals are typically less expensive), safety features, the car’s mileage, and whether it has a complete service history. All of these factors can influence the purchase price.
When looking for your first car, the best place to start is usually online. You can study and compare vehicles from the comfort of your own home at carsales.com.au. Over 200,000 new and used automobiles, as well as the latest automotive news and reviews, are available on carsales.com. The editorial staff at carsales.com.au test drives and reviews everything from compact vehicles to huge off-roaders all around the world, delivering honest assessments on each vehicle. Carsales reviews also include “green” and “safety” scores, as well as average fuel consumption — invaluable information for calculating operating costs!
4. Shopping around
It goes without saying that being well researched is vital to making the correct choice. It’s important that you don’t make any decisions if you are feeling pressured. Unlike a new pair of jeans, you can’t just take back a car if you change your mind. Most importantly don’t be afraid to ask questions. If somebody is asking a much cheaper price than everyone else, ask why. And keep in mind that if something appears too good to be true, it probably is.
When looking out a car, there are a few things to keep in mind:
A seller should be able to provide you with a history of any servicing or repair work performed. Inquire whether the vehicle has been in any serious accidents or if any important parts have been changed.
You can check the car’s credentials through your local government transportation authority, such as whether the registration is current, whether it has been reported stolen or written off, and whether there is a registered security interest showing money is still owed on the vehicle.
Consider how much it will cost to register the vehicle. If the registration is due soon after the sale, you may be able to haggle the price down.
A vehicle should have a roadworthy certificate. Obtain a Roadworthy Certificate from the seller to show this, and double-check that the date is current.
Investing in an independent inspection is strongly suggested, and it can help you resolve any concerns you may have regarding the vehicle. Insurance companies, organizations such as the NRMA in New South Wales, the RACV in Victoria, the AANT in the Northern Territory, the RACQ in Queensland, the RAA in South Australia, the RACT in Tasmania, the RAC in Western Australia, or an independent mechanic in your area can conduct these inspections on your behalf.
A car’s engine may typically last between 200000 and 300000 kilometres before failing, therefore aim for the shortest distance travelled. The average person travels around 20000 kilometres each year. Examining the service manual is a fantastic approach to acquiring a feel for the vehicle.
The safety aspects of a car should be carefully evaluated. Is it equipped with airbags? If so, how many are there? What’s the status of the brakes? If you’re buying a used car, make sure you get an independent vehicle examination to rule out any problems.
Make sure to look over the car’s bodywork to make sure it’s in good shape. Keep an eye out for any rust or dents. This is critical if you want your vehicle to last and keep you safe in the event of a collision.
It goes without saying that you should always take a test drive in your potential new car. Consider the following before hitting the road:
– Ride Quality – Test the automobile on a variety of road surfaces. Test it on the types of roads you’re likely to encounter on a daily basis.
– Transmission – If driving a manual look for a smooth gear shift and clutch action. If testing an automatic, how are the upshifts and downshifts? There should be no abrupt jolts or lurches during these automated shifts.
– Handling – How well does the car react to changes in direction? Does it feel stable and controllable? Do you feel you could avoid an accident if you had to? Does the steering feel precise with no excessive motion?
– Braking – Really use the brakes. Make sure they show you in a straight, controlled manner. Brake softly and then aggressively to test the car’s reaction to sudden braking input. Remember to warn passengers before doing so and be sure to check for other cars around you.
– Noise – Listen for excessive engine, interior, tyre and wind noise with the windows up and down. If the car is equipped with a sunroof, open it and listen. Do this under normal driving conditions to ensure noise levels are suitable.
– Parking – Parallelly parks the car to check for blind spots or any difficulty identifying the corners of the car.
5. Purchasing the car
Once you’ve identified a car you’re interested in, you’ll probably go through one of the three choices below.
Purchasing a car from a dealer
Buying from a licensed dealer has many advantages. A dealer car is also more likely to be prepared for sale in a roadworthy condition and you will have ample opportunity to inspect and drive the car prior to making your decision. Dealers are also subject to significantly stricter rules than individual sellers, including statutory requirements to provide a warranty, depending on the age and mileage of the car. In most states, a “cooling off” period is allowed for and the dealer also guarantees title, which takes the risk out of buying a stolen car or one where finance monies are still owed. The disadvantage is that you will have to spend a bit extra on this piece of mind.
Some things to consider when buying from a dealer:
– Check the fine details of a statutory warranty and confirm what is, and isn’t covered.
– Once you’ve taken the car for a test drive and checked the car’s documentation, you can request a full mechanical inspection.
Purchasing from a private seller
Cars sold privately can be a bit cheaper, but you need to do the running around to ensure the car is legitimate. You also don’t get the benefit of a statutory warranty or a cooling-off period. You’ll have to check things like registration, whether the person selling you the car has the right to do so, and if the car has been written off by the authorities. It’s a good idea to go with somebody who knows their stuff.
Some things to consider when buying from a private seller:
– For registered cars, check the registration certificate to see that the owner’s name, license plate number, vehicle identification number (VIN), engine number and other details correspond with the seller’s driver’s license. You can confirm these details with your state’s road transport authority.
– Ask the seller about the car’s history. Has it been owned by anyone else? When was it first registered? Have they had anything modified or repaired?
– Take the car for a test drive, but be sure you take someone with you. The seller may ask you for a copy of your driver’s license so be prepared for this.
– Make sure the car has a current roadworthy certificate before you buy. Never offer to get it yourself; it is the seller’s responsibility.
– If, like most people, you don’t know much about cars, get a professional mechanical inspection. Private sellers will usually accept this if you agree to pay a small deposit. This should be fully refundable if you are not satisfied with the mechanical inspection report.
– To help you get the best price for your new car, it pays to be informed. Be sure to research the price of the car before you go to the inspection. The RedBook is a pricing authority that allows you to value new and used cars online. Check out Redbook.com.au for more information.
– Any money you pay should be accompanied by a receipt.
Purchasing from an Auction
An auction is another less expensive alternative however there are greater risks, so it’s not a place for the inexperienced. In some states, vehicles bought at auctions will have barely any paperwork. Also, keep in mind that it is highly unlikely you will be able to test-drive an auction car before the bidding process begins.
Some things to consider when buying at an auction:
– Turn up as early as possible so you can get a good look at the car and always go with someone who knows their stuff. Inspect as best you can, including starting the engine.
– Pick a budget and stick to it. This is especially important at auctions as people can get caught up in the heat of the moment in a bidding war.
– Stick to reputable auction houses. Remember that auction houses don’t know the history of the car so you may be exposed to buying a stolen car.
– Be wary of any warranties provided by auctions as they have a lot of exclusions.
Good luck with purchasing your first car and enjoy all of the memories that come with it!
If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!