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Getting your first car in 2023 – What do you need to know?

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20 January 2023

The new year is well underway at this point, and many of us have already given up on the resolutions we started very much in good faith. But some of your goals and ambitions for 2023 will be very much immovable – such as, perhaps, your resolution to pass your driving test and buy your first car.

Learning to drive can be a scary experience in its own right, but choosing your vehicle for after you pass is another matter entirely. For the uninitiated, the wealth of options and specifications can be deeply off-putting, let alone make it difficult to know where to start. So, what do you need to know about buying your first car?

The Budget

As with any big purchase, it is absolutely essential that you draw up a budget of what you can afford. This budget should start as a basic in vs. out calculation, giving you a ballpark idea of how much money you have to play with each month. This isn’t just for saving-up purposes, but also to ascertain how much you can afford towards running costs on a month-to-month basis. As well as buying or financing the car, you will need to pay for fuel, insurance, tax and servicing.

The Vendor

Buying a car isn’t necessarily as simple as rocking up to a showroom and leaving with a vehicle. You have a number of factors to consider, not in the least relating to your budget and the option to buy used. You might also have an opportunity to agree to finance or lease deals; before you accept, though, you should do your research and ensure you do not take on debts you cannot afford.

Geography plays an important part here, not just with regard to the terrain you’ll be driving on but also due to the cost and availability of certain cars. Vauxhall cars Norwich dealers are selling will likely be less expensive and in better condition than those in central London.

The Car

With a proper understanding of how much you can afford towards a new car, and what options you have for buying, you can now turn your attention to choosing the car itself. Your first questions should centre around what you need your car for. Is it a daily driver for getting around the city, or might you need a more robust commuter vehicle for longer trips? Petrol cars are better options for the former, while diesel varieties perform better at faster speeds and over longer distances.

Electric vehicles (EVs) have also been steadily emerging from the used car market over the past decade or so. They remain perhaps too expensive for a first car budget, but could be a solid option second-hand or via finance – especially taking into account their relative cheapness to run in the long-term.


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