Buying a car is a major financial decision. It’s always an exciting time and as a young adult, there’s every chance that your first car could even be your first major purchase. To help you make your decision, here are our top tips for purchasing your first car and some of the pitfalls to avoid.

Don’t Fall for the Salesman

A salesman’s job is to upsell to you. As someone who is likely to only have a modest budget, you’re probably an ideal target. As a result, it’s likely that a salesman will try to temp you to lease your first car, showing you how you can afford a more upmarket car on lower monthly payments.

Leasing is always a tempting offer for first time buyers, especially when you see the cars you can afford. However, it’s important to understand that leasing a car can often be more expensive in the long run due to fees, charges and maintenance costs. Plus, you won’t own the car at the end of the period.

Buy Used

As a result, it’s generally best advice to buy used. You may have your sights set on a lovely new car, but it’s likely that the financial cost of this will be high, particularly when you factor in insurance costs.

Used cars are often preferred by new drivers, particularly until these drivers have built up a few years of a ‘no claims’ on their insurance.

In addition to being more affordable, used cars also don’t suffer from depreciation as much as new cars do, so your investment is slightly protected. Just buying a new car means that its value falls by 11%.

If you’re going to buy a used car, however, ensure that you buy from a reputable dealer such as Fords of Winsford or directly from a manufacturer. This way, you’ll know that the car has been properly looked after and that all the paperwork checks out – this should leave you without any nasty surprises. If you like, you could also pay for an inspector to check the vehicle over before you buy.


When you’re going to buy your first car, you should always negotiate on the price. The price quoted on the windscreen of the car, also known as the ‘sticker price’ is often negotiable, so ensure you enquire what the best price for the car is. Even if a dealership won’t move on the price, they’ll often throw in a few extras, such as service plans, warranties or car mats.

Follow these top tips and you should have no problem finding the first car of your dreams.

This post was created in collaboration with Fords of Winsford.

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