Tips for First-Time Car Buyers

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Car Buying Tips for First Time Buyers

Buying a car for the first time doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. With proper planning, first-time car buyers can find a satisfying car to purchase easily. One of the best ways to gather information about the process is to learn from other car owners in the family or in the neighbourhood. The essentials related to purchasing a car remain unchanged regardless of whether it is a first-time purchase. Here are the basic car buying tips that every first-time buyer should put into practice.


The Different Types of Cars to Choose From

When it comes to the types of cars available, buyers are faced with many choices. Cars are classified on the basis of size, performance specs, and seating capacity.


A sedan is a four-door passenger car with cargo space in the rear. Sedans feature a three-box enclosed design. These can seat four or more people. Sedans are among the most popular car styles. The Mitsubishi Lancer, Ford Corsair, and Daewoo Nubira are examples of sedans.


These two- or four-door cars have a door at the back that opens upward to give access to the cargo area. A foldable second row of seats allows for extra cargo space. Popular hatchbacks include the Suzuki Swift, Honda Civic, and Hyundai Getz.


Convertibles, also called roadsters and cabriolets, allow users to alternate between a closed roof and an open roof. The roof may be a hard top or a soft top. The Ford Capri Turbo, Volvo C70, and Peugeot 306 are examples.


With their sleek, elongated fronts and powerful engines, coupes stand for style and performance. Coupes feature two doors and a fixed roof. The Subaru BRZ, Toyota Supra, and Porsche Cayman are popular coupes.


Planning How the Car Will be Used

The choice of car will essentially be driven by one’s needs. The following questions should be considered:

  • Where is the car going to be driven – city roads or the highway?

  • How important are factors such as fuel efficiency, cargo capacity, towing capabilities, children’s seats, garage/parking space, and manual/automatic transmission?

  • How many passengers will the vehicle normally transport?

  • What is going to be the frequency of use?

  • What are the must-have safety features?


Two-Wheel Drive, All-Wheel Drive, and Four-Wheel Drive

There are three main drive train types, each with its own features and advantages.

Two-Wheel Drive (2WD)

With two-wheel drive, power is directly transmitted to the front two wheels, making steering easier. In addition, the parallel-mounted engine on 2WD leads to a better-balanced vehicle. Two-wheel drive also features a simpler design than all-wheel or four-wheel drive, requires fewer parts, and is easier to maintain.

However, 2WD cars are front heavy and do not have the ideal weight distribution for high-speed driving. Two-wheel drives also do not offer the best traction on wet roads, and the half shafts and constant velocity joints on two-wheel drives may require frequent repair.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

All-wheel drive allows wheels to spin at different speeds. The advantage of AWD is that they offer good traction on any kind of road and in any kind of weather. However, AWDs are heavy vehicles with higher fuel consumption.

Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)

As its name suggest, four-wheel drive lets power be equally transmitted to all four wheels. Modern 4WD vehicles allow drivers to activate the system when required. Advantages include fuel economy when used in the 2WD mode and rugged off-road driving when 4WD is engaged.


Cost Considerations for the First-Time Car Buyer

Apart from the size, brand, and type of car, there are additional cost factors. Running and maintenance costs recur throughout the life of the car.
The value of a car depreciates with time. First-time buyers should compare cars for the rate of depreciation. A car’s age, miles covered, and condition all affect residual value.
The diesel vs. petrol vs. hybrid comparison merits research. Diesel cars are fuel efficient and ideal for buyers who register upwards of 1500 kilometres a month. Petrol-driven vehicles cost less and are cheaper to maintain. Hybrid vehicles are fuel-efficient and come with impressive warranties.
The availability and cost of spare parts varies with the year and make of the model.
Compare cars for cost of routine maintenance and car insurance. Get insurance quotes from multiple vendors.


How to Buy a Car on eBay

Buying a car on eBay is an easy and streamlined process. One can select the car of one’s choice by model and make on the “Motors” page and then filter by trim level, accessories, and other parameters. When using the search bar, eBay returns phrases related to the original search term. Price range is also a useful filter to fine-tune your results. Once results have been narrowed down to two or three cars, a quick search for accessories and parts should be done to get an idea of their cost and availability.

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