How to find your first car

Not sure where to start when buying your first car? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Once you’ve worked out the total cost for your first car, you know how much you can spend. You may be paying a visit to the bank of mum and dad or even looking at a car loan. Either way, this is where the fun starts… you get to pick your car!

The first question should be new or used? Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of both:

New car


  • Shouldn’t have any issues – the car will be brand new and ready for the road.
  • Protected by warranty – if there are any issues you’ll be fully covered by the warranty.
  • Customised to how you like – you often get to add customisations to car so you can personalise it in certain ways.


  • The initial purchase is going to cost more – brand new is always going to cost more when it comes to cars.
  • Insurance is going to be higher – because the car is more valuable it would be more for insurers to fix, so they’ll charge more.
  • Lose value quickly – as soon as a car is bought, it depreciates massively – some cars lose up to 60% after their third year.



  • Much cheaper than new – buying used is the perfect opportunity to capitalise on their depreciated value.
  • Lower insurance premiums – because the car costs less to replace, the insurance will cost less too.
  • Lots of options – there’s always going to be more old cars than new cars – so the world is your oyster!


  • Less reliable – as you can imagine a used car is more likely to break down.
  • No warranty – if there are any mechanical issues you’ll need to foot the bill.
  • Seller transparency – you won’t know what you’re getting until you actually buy it.

Where to look

The possibilities are endless with the help of the internet so make sure you thoroughly search the web. You’ll be surprised how fun it is once you start to know what you’re looking for.

To give you a head start, we’ve put together a shortlist of places you can start to find your first vehicle.

  • Local dealerships – you’ll have a lot of dealerships just round the corner, they’re a good place to see a few cars at once.
  • Auto Trader – Auto Trader is the largest digital automotive marketplace and lists more the 470,000 cars a day.
  • Gumtree – you’ll find a lot of local used cars on Gumtree – just arrange a viewing to see the car.
  • Facebook Marketplace – another way to find local cars is Facebook Marketplace with new listings going up every day.

The bottom line

Now you’ve got a good idea of buying new or used and where to buy, you can start browsing. The best deal might not jump at you straight away so it’ll be wise to have an in-depth look. Let’s say you find a second-hand car, scout around for the same car on other sites to see if it really is a good deal. Don’t forget, the car price isn’t the only factor you need to think about the overall cost as well as the condition.

Good luck and happy searching!

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