Choosing a car

Choosing a car

Choosing a car is exciting – it’s one of the biggest things you’ll ever buy, so think carefully about what you need as well as what you can afford.

Talk to friends and family about their cars and why they chose them. These are some of the things to think about when choosing a car

  • Price – what does it cost to buy? If there’s a finance deal, can you afford the payments?
  • Size – how many people do you need to fit in the car, or what might you need to carry in it?
  • Age/mileage – an older car or one with a high mileage is likely to need more maintenance than a newer car.
  • Fuel economy – if you’re going to be doing a lot of driving, having a car with poor fuel economy (ie it doesn’t do many miles per gallon of fuel) will be expensive.
  • Model/engine size – sporty models and cars with bigger engines will cost more for a new driver to insure.
  • History – who’s owned the car before? This will give you some clues about whether the car has been well looked after.

Owning a car is an expensive business but you can help keep insurance costs down by taking the Pass Plus course: find out more about Pass Plus on the Further training page.

Some insurers offer ‘pay how you drive’ insurance: a GPS box is fitted to your car to record how you drive, and your premium is worked out from this information. This can save you money if you drive well.

Keeping your car secure will also help keep insurance costs down: if you can, keep it in a locked garage overnight. Having security devices fitted, such as an alarm or immobiliser, can also bring down the insurance cost.

Remember, the longer you own and drive a car without making an insurance claim, the more ‘no claims’ discount you’ll earn – so driving carefully and skilfully really pays off.