Buying your first car is a big deal. It’s a major investment, and one that you’ll be making for years to come. But with so many different things to consider, it can be hard to know where to start.

This article will cover how you should go about buying your first car, as well as the things you need to think about before you make that all-important purchase.

What sort of car do you want?  You need to think about how you will be using it – if you are going to be travelling long distances, then you will need to steer away from more unreliable cars.  If you will be nipping about town then maybe a smaller car would be better.  Or, perhaps you have your perfect dream car already in mind, but just need to work out how to pay for it.

Buying a car is a big investment and you should take your time to find the perfect one. You should also set your budget and stick to it. Check online for the best deals in your area and make sure that you have enough money for all the necessary expenses, like insurance, fuel and importantly, breakdown cover.

There are many ways to save for your first car, but the best way is to start early and make saving a part of your lifestyle.  So, at the end of each month, put anything left over into a specific savings account, and set up whatever you can other than that too.

Make sure you look at other ways to budget too, so no takeaways for a while!  Are you prioritising your car purchase over a sunny trip away?  Great – so move the money you would have spent abroad to your savings account too.  There are lots of other things you van do – no more takeaway coffees, always make your work lunches, do any overtime available if that’s an option.

In order to work out how much you need, and how much you can afford, you should check out a car payment calculator.  This will tell you exactly how much you will be spending each month for your chosen car.  If its more than you can afford, then now is the time to more realistically set your expectations.  Alternatively, you can look again at your budget, by writing down all your incomings and outgoings, and see which items can  be removed.  Streaming accounts, expensive mobile phone contracts – if you really want your car there might just be a way round it.

Once you finally have your dream car, its important to look after it well.  Make sure you sign up to a proper service plan with a garage, and ensure that you are checking things like oil, water and tyres regularly.  Breakdown cover is essential too – if you break down you need to be sure that you will be safely recovered.

Good luck with your very first car purchase, and safe driving!