The time has come to finally buy your first car. It’s an incredibly exciting time in your life and this is likely to be the biggest purchase you’ve ever made. You’ve been reading the latest motoring news and keeping your eyes peeled looking for special deals and any sales on second-hand cars. You’ve even looked at car finance in South Africa to figure out what your best financing options are. The thing is, you can’t simply jump in and buy the first car for sale that you find. You need to be careful and this is the first time you’ve ever purchased a vehicle. So, take your time and read the following mistakes to avoid when buying your first car.

Not looking around for the best deal

You may find what you believe to be the perfect car for you at the first used car dealer you go to. Many people get so excited at the first pre-owned car dealership they visit that they’re ready to sign on the dotted line. And then they walk past a used car dealership which has better cars at better prices. If you buy your first car from the first place you visit, you may very well regret your decision shortly afterward.

You need to make sure that you explore all your options and see what there is available within your price range. It’s a good idea to visit at least three dealerships before you decide on which car you want.

Buying a car while still getting a driver’s licence

While you may think you need to have a car already in order to start to learn to drive, this is not the case. In fact, driving schools have their own cars which they use to teach and they will allow you to use that car when you do your driving test. There are many reasons to wait until you have your licence before you begin your search for the perfect vehicle at auto dealers.

For starters, it may take you longer to obtain your driver’s licence than you think. Many people have made the mistake of purchasing a car and then having to wait months or even more than a year to pass their driving test. This means that your car, the one you spent ages looking for, will be sitting in your garage or parking space for all this time. And while your precious car is waiting for you to be able to drive it, it’s depreciating in value.

In addition to this, you will likely not be able to get car insurance and vehicle finance until you have a licence to drive. If, however, a parent or guardian has agreed to sign the documents involved in car finance and on your behalf, they’ll be paying insurance for the entire time your car isn’t even on the road.

Test driving the car alone

If you’re purchasing your first car, it is likely that you haven’t had too much experience on the road. This means that you won’t know exactly what to look and listen for while you driving the car for the first time. Because you’re not yet the experienced driver you would like to be, you simply don’t have the knowledge required to properly inspect and test a car.

You likely won’t notice if the car pulls a little too hard to the left or if the gearbox makes a little too much noise. And if you’re going the private car sales route and are testing a car for sale by owner request, you need to be extra careful as a secondhand dealership hasn’t done an initial inspection.

It’s important that you are joined by an experienced driver who can tell whether the car you’re purchasing is in good condition and doesn’t only look good. This person has purchased cars before and will, therefore, know what to keep an eye and ear out for when on a car search.

Not looking around when it comes to financing and insurance

Before you start looking at ways to finance your vehicle, you should read up on vehicle finance motoring news to see if there are any tips from experts in the industry. One financial services provider may make you an offer that seems reasonable enough, but it’s always a good idea to shop around for vehicle financing and car insurance.

At the end of the day, you’re going to be driving this car around for many years, just as you’ll be paying it off as well. That’s why it’s vital that you ensure you buy the right car. You need to make sure that you look around when it comes to financing, insurance, and secondhand car dealers.