We all have to start somewhere and that’s true when it comes to your car owning journey. Everybody remembers their first car, it’s a relationship between man and machine that you will learn to cherish as the years pass. That’s why buying your first car is so important. Not only are you probably going to be working with a tighter budget first time around, but you’re going to need a car that comfortably eases you into your life as a driver.
So what does make a great first car, exactly?
Size doesn’t matter
There is a reason why most first cars are on the smaller side. Not only are smaller car more practical when it comes to getting around but they are generally cheaper to insure and cost less in general. The Peugeot 208 is the ideal first car for just that reason. Even if you can afford to ‘go bigger’, we’d always recommend you start small and see how comfortable you are behind the wheel first.
Used but not abused
A car will lose a fair share of its value the second you drive it off the forecourt and the used car market is more competitive than ever these days. Buying used means taking on a car that’s already suffered through those early years of steady depreciation and if you really want that fabled ‘new car smell’ then why not just buy an air freshener?
Budget first – car second
When car shopping, the case of heart over head can enter into the decision making process if you’re not careful. The best way around this is to ensure you have a budget in mind before even stepping into a showroom or even having a cursory look online. Otherwise, you might end up falling in love with a car that you ‘just need’ to buy before you see the sticker price.
There are a few brands that are renowned for being reliable – Toyota, Peugeot and Lexus, for example. And that’s generally for a good reason. Do your research on your first car and go with the brands and the models that have a decent reputation.
It just feels right
As a rule, you should never buy a car until you’ve taken it for a ride. This is particularly true if buying a second-hand car, as it will be more likely to have developed problems over its lifespan. Test everything from the biting point of the clutch to how smoothly it shifts through the gears and whether or not the brakes feel responsive. You might not think you know what it should feel like, but trust us, if there’s a problem then you’ll definitely feel it.