The first time you hit up a car classifieds website as a legitimate buyer is, for lack of better words, bloody awesome. There’s a symphony of feelings all firing at once; excitement, trepidation, nervousness, anticipation… the list goes on and on.
Before you really get into your car search though, there are some things you need to be well aware of so you’re in the best possible position to make the right choice and won’t end up with:
- Something that far exceeds your budget
- A lemon that spends more time in the shop than on the road (costing you heaps in the process)
- A car that doesn’t have the features you want
Like the carconnect new or used car buying process, your first car purchase should be as straightforward and stress-free as possible. And if you follow these top tips, it’ll be exactly that.
Understand your (realistic) needs in a car
Yes, we all want to be driving around in a MY21 5-litre Mustang with a supercharger upgrade that puts out more power than Hafthor Bjornsson smack-bang in the middle of a ‘roid cycle. But just how realistic is that as a daily driver, especially as a P-plater without a Bilzarian budget.
Make a list of things that are ‘must-have’ and also ‘nice to have’, then consider what type of vehicle fits the bill best. For example, if towing a boat is in the ‘must-have’ list you probably want to steer clear of a Mazda 2. Conversely, if it’s going to be used primarily for city driving and parking, an H2 Hummer might be a smidge too big.
Set a budget
Now that you’ve got an idea of the size and drive type of your vehicle, it’s time to set a firm figure you’re able to afford. Whether you’re saving up to pay in full or are thinking about either a personal loan or finance leasing (in which case we highly recommend our mates at Stratton Finance who’ll get you a great finance deal!), it’s important to know just how much you can realistically pay while still having enough for all of your other expenses.
Once you’ve settled on a figure, don’t be soft about it and ensure you stick with it.
Research. Then research some more
Alright, so we’ve got the budget and car’s size and drive types sorted. Now comes the fun bit!
More than ever before, we’re able to pretty much find out every single thing there is to know in the Universe with just a few keyboard taps and mouse clicks (okay, maybe not everything - looking at you, Keith. We all know you took the last cookie, just admit it!).
So anyway, jump online and spend some time searching;input your budget plus a heap of other variables, then search through the results for a couple of cars that tickle your fancy.
Once you’ve got a shortlist of a couple of different makes and models, use trusty old Google to search ‘MAKE MODEL review’ and ‘MAKE MODEL common issues’; you’ll soon find out if any owners past and present have had recurring problems and, if so, how serious they are (it might just be a $50 fix).
You should now have one or two stand-out cars on your list.
A car can look incredible in pictures and reviews. But just because it looks good on paper doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get behind the wheel and love it from the moment your butt hits the driver’s seat.
It is absolutely imperative that you take each of your ‘finalist’ cars for a decent test drive. And that doesn’t mean around the block and back. If you buy it, you’ll be driving it in various conditions; light and heavy traffic, sunshine and rain… you get the picture. Where possible, take it for a couple of drives at different times of the day and in different conditions to get a better take on how it performs across the board.
Save yourself time, money and headaches and buy a car through carconnect
Because it’s the first time you’ve ever bought a car, you probably aren’t aware of how tedious, stressful and straight-up annoying the car buying process can be. If you want to find out, it’s as easy as asking someone who’s been through it before - everyone has their own story (or two) about buying a car, and they’re more often than not pretty darn horrifying!
If you want to skip the BS and stress, carconnect has you covered - simply search for your preferred car, pop in a couple of your details and we’ll get the ball rolling on our end to source you a great price for your next car via our extensive network of dealers all over Australia.
If you’re after a bit more information about what we do, feel free to call us on 1300 880 008 or head to our contact page to send us a message which we’ll respond to ASAP.