If you follow me on Twitter, you'll be aware that I'm very close to my driving test and have been spending weeks looking for the perfect first car. I hate to admit but I am bit of a stereotype female who knew virtually nothing about cars, and what types of things I should be looking for when buying, so it took me a while to get my bearings when car shopping! When my Dad, who is helping me look for my car, asked what type of car I wanted my first response was "One that's not too ugly and not too big" which obviously went down like a lead-balloon. I had no idea of how much different things cost, engine sizes, mileage, warning signs to look for when checking out a car for sale, the list is endless!
I'm leaning towards a Corsa or a KA for my first car and I've been looking mainly on AutoTrader. Whilst me and my Dad do disagree on what can be classed as an 'ugly' car (he has no taste in my opinion), I can say that I have a much more informed opinion on what type of car I'd like and how to check it's going to be safe for me to drive in!
If you've passed your driving theory and practical test (or close to passing) then you will be aware of the safety checks you should be doing before starting your journey. They are mostly simple things but if you check them before buying a new car, it could save you a lot of money in the long run and there won't be any hidden surprises!
Check the brakes. Super simple, start your car and slowly move off then press your foot brake down. They shouldn't be spongy/slack and your car should stop without pulling to one side. So easy to check and super important. Turn on the ignition and get a friend/relative to walk around the car while you use the brakes and indicator lights to see that they all work. Also check all your tyres before the journey. Point S have a fantastic section on their website about how to check your tyres - remember they are the thing that supports the weight of the car and keeps you and your car linked to the road! Also check the tyre tread depth. It's illegal to have a tread under 1.6mm because the deeper the tread depth, the less likely to puncture and have better grip when braking. It's a good idea to change your tyres once the tread is at 2 - 3mm and Point S actually stock a huge range of tyres from all brands. You can even tap in your registration number if you don't know what size tyres you need and Point S do all the hard work. Plus, if you are a car newbie like myself, you can even book to get the fitted at a Point S depot - easy peasy!
To all first time car buyers who may be petrified at the thought of it all - trust me, I've been there but I've found out there is really nothing to it! With such amazing resources, plus a little guidance from a friend who owns a car, you'll be breezing through car shopping in no time!
*Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post. All content written by myself*