Most people won’t be lucky enough for their parents to buy them a car for their seventeenth birthday, so will either have to save up themselves or take out a loan on finance. Nevertheless, no matter what method you’re using to buy your first car, it’s a big moment for anyone in their life!

Your first car will stay with you as a major milestone in your life. Choosing wisely and knowing the costs both before and after purchase will help you save the right amount.

Set your budget

The first step in your journey to buying a car is to set a budget. Although you may find a car you like for slightly under or over your price, it’s vital you set a target, so you know roughly what you’re aiming for. You must also consider all the fees and costs that come with buying and running a car in day to day life and include that in your budget too.

If you’d like a cheap, affordable and simple vehicle that’s good enough to get to and from work, budget about 10 to 15 per cent of your annual income.

To run a car, your budget should include costs like car insurance, MOT tests, road tax, replacement tyres and petrol. There may be more costs if you have to get repairs for cracked windscreens and mirrors, so these unexpected fees for maintenance should definitely be considered too.

Choosing You Car

Next comes the more difficult part – finding your perfect car. You should have already considered the brand and model, but then you must start considering what features you want too. There are so many new specifications and nifty new features that you may now want in your car, like built in 4G Wi-Fi so you can stay connected wherever you go.

There are also installed cameras that allow you to see everything around your car, instead of just what’s behind you. You can even get self-cleaning windows, built in vacuum cleaners and seats designed specifically to prevent fatigue and the feelings of tiredness caused by long car journeys.

Next you have to decide whether you’re purchasing a brand-new vehicle or buying a second-hand car. There are lots of options for you to buy a used vehicle, for a lot less of a cost than a car from a showroom. There are lots of online places to browse through like GumTree and AutoTrader where you can look through images and descriptions of cars priced at a good value.

Checking You Car

After you’ve chosen your car it’s time to see or test it out. Check out the car in person before you purchase anything online and look for any visual damage or impairments to the vehicle. A car dealer will have all the legitimate documents to sell you a car, whereas a private seller may be more misleading. It’s important to double check all information before purchasing.

Alternatively, if you’re saving for your child’s first car, you can use the Offspring savings app which will encourage family, friends and loved ones to contribute money to your fund. You could ask people to give money towards the vehicle, instead of asking for money directly or receiving Christmas and birthday gifts.