8 tips for buying your first car

And a five-star luxury 4×4 will probably be safer than a five-star supermini. They’re also normally cheaper, like-for-like, than diesel cars of the same age and type. Hatchbacks tend to be smaller, more efficient and less expensive to purchase and run than other types of car, while still having five seats and a big enough boot for your shopping. You never forget your first car. But we’ll get onto that in a moment.

If your car cost more than £40,000 when it was new, you may have to pay additional annual tax – though that’s unlikely to apply to most first-time buyers. Most cars fall into one of four main categories – hatchback, saloon, estate or SUV.

8 tips for buying your first car


p>Thinking about buying a car, but don’t know where to start? We’re here to help get you on your way. You should have your car serviced after every 12,000 miles of driving, though this can vary – check with the car manufacturer how often it should be. Should you get a petrol or a diesel?

A manual or an automatic? The choice can be overwhelming, so here are our tips to get you started on your motoring journey, whether you’re ready to set off now or just mulling it all over. Newer cars come with technology that can detect danger and take action faster than you might react. Insurance for new drivers can be expensive and the cost of your policy has a lot to do with the value of the car. How much fuel a car uses is described as ‘fuel economy’ and is measured in miles per gallon, or mpg – which can be confusing, as most liquid fuel in the UK is sold in litres.

Zero-emission cars, including electric models like the Nissan Leaf, are free to tax, while cars with a normal engine will cost around £150 a year. If you only pop to the shops once a week, a smaller petrol hatchback will probably do. But choosing and buying a car for the first time can be confusing. Lots of families choose SUVs and estates for their size, but new drivers don’t always need so much space.

Cazoo Editorial Team Byline Icon The rating is based partly on a crash test, but also on the car’s ability to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Whether you get the keys to a family hand-me-down on your 17th birthday or treat yourself much later in life, the freedom it brings is an exciting rite of passage. In addition to insurance, you’ll have to tax, service and fuel your car. Some manufacturers offer pre-paid servicing packages that make this cheaper.

Buying and running a car is expensive, especially for young people, so it’s worth going for one that reflects your needs and preferences. A gallon of petrol or diesel costs around £5.50 at the moment, so you can calculate the costs based on that. The further you travel, the more petrol or diesel your car will consume. It covers the bits that shouldn’t wear out, rather than things like tyres and clutch plates that owners should expect to replace every now and again. All cars are given an insurance group number from 1 to 50, with 1 being cheaper to insure than the higher numbers.

Most new cars have an official safety rating from an independent organisation called Euro NCAP. This gives you a wider selection to choose from, meaning you have a better chance of finding the right car for the right price. Used cars are cheaper than new cars, which makes them much easier to recommend for people just starting out on their motoring journey and there are a lot more of them around. There are other shapes, like sports cars and people carriers, but most are somewhere in between. But if you have a driveway where you can charge up and generally drive less than 100 miles per day, an electric car could be the perfect choice.

But if you regularly make long journeys at high speeds, then a diesel engine might be more efficient. A five-star car from 2020 will probably be safer than a five-star car from 2015. Conventional wisdom suggests that your first car should be a bit of a banger – something you pick up for a few hundred quid, complete with dented bodywork and a peculiar smell.

The amount of fuel you use will depend a lot on how much you drive and the way you drive. There are other factors that insurance providers use to calculate the cost of your policy, like the area you live in and the job that you do. You can buy an excellent used car for £6,000 or around £100 per month on finance.

You’ll find a suitable first car for under £10,000 in cash or under £200 per month on finance. Even if the car you buy from Cazoo is outside it’s manufacturer’s warranty, we’ll still provide 90 days of cover for your peace of mind. Lots of people buy a hatchback as their first car.

Expect to spend about another £150 on a full service for a small car and around £250 for a larger model. But above all, the safest car is one with a safe driver – no amount of airbags will change that. Would you rather insure a new driver for a £6,000 hatchback with a small engine and a built-in alarm, or an expensive supercar with a 200mph top speed? Generally speaking, the cheapest cars to insure are modest, sensible models with less powerful engines and low repair costs in case you have a crash.

Call us biased, but we think everybody should buy a used car. But generally, an inexpensive car with a small engine (less than 1.6 litres) will help keep insurance costs low. Most cars come with a three-year warranty, so if you buy a two-year-old car you’ll still be covered by the warranty for another year. Diesel cars tend to use a little less fuel than petrol cars and on the motorway are much more efficient.

If you regularly drive on the motorway or cover long distances, for example, an efficient, comfortable car with a large petrol or diesel engine is what you should buy. But we don’t agree. Electric cars are usually a lot more expensive to buy than either petrol or diesel cars and take a lot longer to ‘refuel’ with electricity.

Car tax is based on how much pollution your type of car releases. The Euro NCAP star ratings give you a reasonable indication of how safe a car is, but there can be more to it than that. Every Cazoo car has its insurance group included in its details on the website. But there’s nothing stopping you from buying a Jeep or Jaguar as your first car – provided you can afford to insure it. They aren’t suitable for making lots of short trips though – diesel cars can wear out quickly unless they’re used for what they’re designed to do.

Some manufacturers give much more than that – Hyundai has a five-year warranty on all its models, while Kia and SsangYong offer seven. A warranty is a car manufacturer’s promise that they’ll fix certain parts of the car if they go wrong in the first few years. Remember that you can ask insurance companies for a ‘quote’ on a car before you buy it. That means that if you buy a two-year-old Kia, you’ll still have five years’ warranty cover left. Put yourself in the insurance company’s shoes.

Each car gets a star rating out of five, which reflects how well it protects passengers from harm, as well as a more detailed report that you can find on Euro NCAP’s website. How much these cost will depend primarily on the car itself, but also the way you use it. Cars that run on petrol are lighter, less prone Mercedes-benz gla 250 in kenya to go wrong and generally quieter than diesel cars.

Petrol is the preferred fuel for most people. By Cazoo editorial team