So it’s time to buy your very first car? Congrats – independence is just around the corner! We understand it’s easy to get a little impatient and be tempted to buy the first car you see. Anything’s better than the bus, right? But hold your horses, and check out this quick guide to get the right car.
Cheapest isn’t always best, but chances are you won’t be in the market for a Ferrari! Because a car has so many more costs beyond the purchase price, it’s important to consider age, condition and brand in economic terms. The ideal first car would probably be one that’s reliable and you can afford to repair in future. The best way to ensure this is to buy a car with a clean report from a reputable dealer, or have a professional check done yourself.
Needs vs wants
Sorry to sounds like your Mum, but your idea of your dream first car might be different to what you really need. Have a think about that you’ll mostly be using the car for – if it’s mostly driving to and from school and around town, a hatchback might be the most appropriate. It’ll probably be cheaper to maintain, and most economical in petrol which will mean more money spent on fun things, like the road trips you can now go on!
Safety should be top of the shopping list. NZTA stats show drivers are most likely to crash in the first 6-12 months of driving. Cars should have drivers airbags at the very least, but ideally will have other airbags and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). Use the ANCAP star rating for a reliable safety report.
Dealer vs private
When buying a car, it’s important to know the difference between buying from a dealer and buying privately. A dealer can cost a little more, but there’s a big advantage of being covered by The Consumer Guarantees Act. Which means the dealer is legally obliged to sell a vehicle that is of acceptable quality, and you’re more likely to avoid a lemon!
First Car Finance
If you’re looking for car finance to help out with your first car, you’ve come to the right place. We even might be able help if you’re on a Learners Licence.