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What to Look for When Buying a First Car

March 21, 2017

What to Look For When Buying a First Car

Buying a first car should be one of the more exciting processes of your life, and not something to look back on with regret or displeasure. Here at French and German Car Service Limited, we want to advise you on what to look for when choosing, and on what makes an ideal first car. Below are some basic considerations to think about during the early stages of your search.


Probably the most important consideration for most first-time buyers, the cost of a car is likely to significantly affect your decision. If you’re looking for something on the cheaper side, then ensure the car’s service history is up to date and logged, and check the age and mileage of the vehicle. Often, the older a car and the more miles on its clock, the cheaper it will be. Other factors also affect cost, such as the make and model of a car, but if you’re pleasantly surprised with how cheap a car is, be sure to check how many miles it has done, and try to find out how up to date its service history is. If you have a bit more room for manoeuvre budget-wise, then consider looking for something a bit newer, with fewer miles on the clock. Buying a first car that has done 200, 000 miles might cut initial costs, but you’ll likely pay everything you saved on fixing it further down the line.



Insurance for first-time drivers is always likely to be quite high. The car you choose can significantly affect insurance costs, though, so choosing wisely can prevent you from over-paying those companies. Larger engines are more likely to cost more to insure. If possible, look for something with a 1, 1.2, or 1.4 litre engine. Anything larger than that is likely to cost a lot to insure. Running checks on price comparison websites is a good way to get an idea of costs, and allows you to see which insurance companies best suit your needs. At minimum, you should have an idea of potential insurance costs before buying a first car, so there are no unpleasant shocks when you do come to purchase your insurance.



One of the most important things to bear in mind during the selection process is how much your potential choice will cost to run. Fuel isn’t cheap on the whole, but considering whether to buy a diesel or petrol car is very important when searching during the initial stages. As a general rule, diesel cars cost more upfront and to service, but can be cheaper to run and insure than their petrol counterparts. Bearing in mind that anything over a 1.4 litre engine is likely to cost a lot to insure, the majority of cars with smaller engines take petrol anyway.



When buying a first car, you should check the vehicle is smooth to drive and that it has all of its mechanics working perfectly. This can be done easily during a test drive, which most garages are more than happy to provide. The last thing you want two weeks after buying your car is for the clutch or gearbox to go. With that in mind, looking for cars with low mileage, a consistent service history and buying from a reputable garage will help ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises. It is also important to service your car regularly, keep it clean, and make frequent checks under the bonnet.


By taking these four basic considerations into account, buying a first car can be an exciting experience to look forward to, rather than dread. We at French and German Car Services Limited wish you all the best in your search, and hope that these pointers have helped you out! For more advice regarding your car, or to ask about our own cars for sale, give us a call on 020 7609 1502 or use our online contact form.