In 2020, taking public transport was very difficult, after the outbreak of covid-19, one could not be sure of the unseen virus, that spread through the world like wildfire. Although you might be cautious, you would still put yourself at risk making yourself vulnerable to the virus, for the most part, I did not need to move around a lot, except for when doing grocery shopping, thankfully I had most stores close by.

After months passed by and we moved towards the new normal, going to work geared with our masks and sanitizers, into the world where our primary task is to protect ourselves against possibly being exposed to the virus. This has forced me to drastically buy a car. I’m usually an indecisive person but buying my first car has left me with few choices. My main goal was to not be exposed to covid-19. Was I wise enough in my decision-making..?

This year I was fortunate to relive the same experience as I’ve been helping a friend of mine lately, who is buying her first car, through her experiences, I’ve picked up a lot of silly mistakes that I’ve made. Buying your first car can be a stressful journey. You want something you like but also something safe, there are many aspects that come into consideration when you buying your first car.

Firstly you need to choose a car that suits your pocket, finance or cash buying, brand new or demo car? Car model and specs, If you are not all clued up with the mechanics of cars you might end up buying a car that will give you many problems. Therefore checking thoroughly is imperative when buying your first wheels.

One thing I’ve realized after I bought my first car, is that most of my friends were surprised, they expected me to buy a fast car, bigger car, this made me realize as people, we all have a different liking. When you go and do shopping we each prefer our own kind of snacks, cool drink or food. It goes the same with buying a car, you will prefer a specific model and colour that you like, so therefore you need to give yourself ample time to look for the right one.

My friend and I have been looking at five different places, and that wasn’t enough, she wanted to check everywhere before she makes her purchase. Remember buying a car is not just about the look, the car can look great but under the hood, it might be rotten.

When you find something you like it’s important to check carefully, is the interior in a good condition did the previous owner care well for it. Check for possible car leaks or paint residue, if you see any paint residue, these are an alert sign that the car has been in an accident. Also, look out for any rust spots or signs of other corrosion on the bodywork. Pay particular attention to the bottom edges of the doors and the joins in the metalwork. Most importantly check the mileage. These are often things you can overlook when the salesperson sells promising words to you.

Buying a car is the second biggest commitment one makes after buying a house, that’s why one has to their research well before making any purchase. You have the right to fair and honest dealing, check if there are still warranties or guarantees available on the car. Read the contract carefully before signing anything.

It is important to test drive the car and listen for any unusual noise, if the breaks are working properly or if the clutch is working properly. This will give you a first-hand feel of the strength of the car.

When buying a car, you have to give yourself enough time to choose the right one, I personally did not have clear decision-making when buying my first car, not that I regret the choice I made. I wanted something strong and a car which I would easily find car parts for if I need to replace something in the future. You can follow a checklist below which I think will help you in your first car purchase experience.

Checklist

  • Check all the numbers i.e. milage, cash price, or installments if you planning on the finance option
  • Stick to your budget, don’t get influence by trends or friends
  • Do your homework well before you purchase
  • Choose your financing wisely, don’t create a hole that you can’t get out
  • Apply and get insured