Buying A Car: Our Step By Step Guide

Once you pass your driving test and are able to buy a new car it is one of the most exciting parts of adulthood. 

Having a car gives you a sense of independence and it is a great way to get around and avoid the Troy les of public transport. 

If you are in the midst of buying your first car and you need some advice about key areas such as how to calculate car loan repayments, what to check on the test drive and more… we are here to help. 

Here is our step by step easy guide to buying a new car this year. 

Check the car 

When you come to buy a new car it is crucial to leave no stone unturned. For those of you unfamiliar with the paperwork and elements that are involved in the purchase of a vehicle, there are some crucial questions you must ask when checking the car: 

  • Does the seller have a V5C document? Without this document you will not be able to tax your new car 
  • Are all of the details correct on the V5C? 
  • Does the car have an MOT? It is important that you buy a car within its MOT for your own security 
  • Does the mileage match the age of the car? On average people will drive 8,000 miles a year, if the mileage is very high, this can be a bad sign in terms of wear and tear 
  • Is there a clear sign of damage? This includes scratches, dents or gaps between panels 
  • Are the tyres in good condition? The last thing you want is to buy a car and have to buy new tyres straight away
  • Does it have a spare tyre? 
  • Is there a jack? 
  • Do the airbag warning lights work? 
  • Do the windscreen wipers work? 

Once you have asked these questions you can consider test driving the car and seeing how it will suit you, your lifestyle, and your driving style. 

The test drive 

When you are looking for a new car it is incredibly important for you to have a test drive. However, if you are not already insured on another vehicle, you will not be able to test drive the car yourself. This is why you need to take a parent, partner, or family member with you who can test drive it for you and make sure it is comfortable and right for you. 

When you head on your first test drive these are the questions you need to be asking: 

  • Do the warning lights operate correctly? 
  • Are the brakes effective? 
  • Is the steering sensitive? 
  • Are there any unusual noises? 
  • Are there signs of excessive fuel emissions? 
  • Is the oil level right? 
  • How are the controls? This includes windows, demister, and screen wash 
  • How does the sound system feel? 

Buy the vehicle 

Once you have test driven the car and you have decided to go ahead with the purchase, you need to conduct the purchase and transfer of ownership. The seller will have a V5C form with them that has a section for transfer of ownership. You need to fill in your details here and the seller will send this off. After a few days you will get a new form in the post and this is proof that you are able to tax this vehicle under your name. Registering the vehicle as yours will allow you to take full ownership. 

Register for an MOT reminder 

After you have purchase your car and brought it home, it is time for you to think about the long term ownership. One of the things you should ensure that you do is register for a reminder of your MOT. As a new car owner it is easy to forget to take your car in for its MOT but if you do forget, it will render your vehicle unfit for the road until it is done. Make sure to get your car in for MOT on time each year and this will ensure the reliability of the vehicle over time as well as your safety as time goes on. 

Ensure and tax it 

Now that you have the car, you have shown it to your family and you are ready to get on the road… you need to apply for insurance. Use a comparison site such as CompareTheMarket and it will show you the cheapest insurance for your car. Consider adding your partner or a parent as a second driver to the policy and this will reduce your costs immediately.