How to choose your first car?
That’s it ? You have won the coveted little piece of pink paper and you will finally be able to buy your first car ? Since the time that you imagine yourself driving the car of your dreams … Now it remains to know which car you are going to fall for!
A first tip : don’t kid yourself too much, your first car will probably not be the car of your dreams, but the one that will allow you to practice the time of the additional insurance premium . It will surely wipe away the plasters (and the bumps) of your “inexperience” as a young driver .
But then, which model to choose? What budget should I devote to it? Petrol or diesel? New or used? Here are some tips for choosing the right first car.
What budget for a first car, from 18 years old?
We note that the purchase of a first car is often done at the time of studies or a first job and therefore with a limited budget which generally oscillates between 2000 and 5000 €. At this price, the vehicle will necessarily have lived a little and will have undergone (or will have to undergo) some repairs.
We also tend to forget the additional costs : the gray card (which depends on the fiscal power of the car and your department of residence), insurance, revisions, periodic maintenance and possible repairs, fuel and tolls, technical control, parking or renting a box… They represent a significant budget that it is important to take into account.
Finally, whatever your budget, always favor safety equipment such as ABS, ESP or even airbags. If you are one of the lucky ones and your budget is higher, do not hesitate to opt for more comfort. Sunroof, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, parking aids or even heated seats… Keep in mind, however, that this equipment will inevitably increase the bill.
Here is a selection of city cars that might interest a beginner
Finding the right role model: a list of questions for every young driver
Before focusing on a specific brand and model, take the time to clearly define the use you will have of it, whether for a new or used car.
How many kilometers will you travel per year?
Determine whether your trips will be daily (home-work-school-nanny) or occasional (leisure) or how many times a year/month you plan to visit your family who lives far away. The more you plan to travel long distances, the more you will move towards a first diesel car, comfortable, economical to use and safe.
Where will you ride the most?
On small mountain roads, an all-terrain could be more useful than a city car which is more suitable for urban routes and short trips. On the highway , prefer a first compact car, a sedan, an SUV .
Where are you going to park it?
If you have no choice but to park it outside on the street, opt for a car that is maneuverable , easy to park and not too new. On the other hand, if you have a closed box, your car is protected and you can afford to take a newer or higher model in the range.
What will you use it for?
If your use is rather family , the number of seats and the dimensions of the trunk will be at the center of your concerns. If, on the contrary, you will rather drive alone, plan for the near future: are your desires to start a family quickly compatible with the small car you covet? On the other hand, if you already live as a couple and if you have young children , prefer a 5-door car, which is more practical. Finally, sports enthusiasts with equipment to transport, owners of (large) dogs will find more use in an SUV or a station wagon, or even a pick-up .