Buying your first car

Buying your first car

Your First Car

Ask any driver and they can tell you without hesitation, exactly the Year, Make, Model and Colour of their first car. However you will find they will say it with pride even if the vehicle was considered to be a bomb.


first drive after getting your license

What does your car say about you?

Your parents may be encouraging you towards a low maintenance safe vehicle to drive. However, it can feel like they are trying to cramp your style. 

Japanese imports are very popular among young drivers. Your car can say a lot about a you, whether is fast, modern, vintage or classic.

Making the car your own is a rite of passage for all drivers. Enjoy the first car choice challenge. It will be one you will never forget.

Good first car for boys

How to avoid someone else's abandoned project.

Some of the coolest looking cars have had not so cool modifications done to them.

From the outside the car looks sleek and trick but the mess under the hood is the unseen surprise you want to avoid.

As I said earlier, making a car your own is an amazing process but there are legal requirements before you consider those changes.

So, here are the Top Tips for buying your first car.

  • Do not believe everything the seller tells you. 
  • Do your research. What is the standard engine in the vehicle and have any aftermarket accessories being fitted?
  • If there are any aftermarket accessories fitted, are they legal?
  • Is there any evidence (Wiring Etc) that aftermarket accessories have been previously fitted?
  • Organise a Pre-Purchase Inspection by a qualified mechanic.
  • Run a Car History Report on the vehicle to see if there is any money owed. 
  • Never pay or commit to buy a vehicle unseen.


You want to avoid a money pit for your first car. There is no worse feeling than having the freedom of your license but your car does not leave the driveway. 

Therefore, stay away from any vehicles that have been highly modified.

These are not the type of vehicle that you want as a first car.

The number one thing to focus on is to get the experience up on the road safely.

What is the difference between a Safety Certificate and a Pre-Purchase Inspection?


The vehicle may come with a valid Safety Certificate or Roadworthy Certificate but the reality is that there are unfortunately examiners who are willing to write Safety Certificates for vehicles that are not roadworthy.

Having an independent company do a Pre-Purchase Inspection on the vehicle will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Knowing what potential issues a vehicle has or already has, gives you all the information to walk away from a lemon that if you brought it, is not only going to sit in the driveway and won’t get you on the road getting the experience needed to become a great driver.

No one looks cool in a car that doesn’t go.

There is a wealth of knowledge that mechanics know about cars.

     What the common problems are with that particular make and model in that year.

  •      If the engine fails at a particular kilometre reading
  •      Have the common problems been repaired/replaced properly?
  •      Has the vehicle been in an extensive accident?

This information is vital to ensure not only the saving of money but the safety of the driver and their passengers.

Being on a budget is always going to be one of the challenges of buying a first car.

Don’t just go for the cheapest car and steer away from older European models.

old bmw

Safety Features

The most important things to look for are the safety features of the vehicle.

To enable them to have the best chance of survival in the event of an accident best to check that the vehicle has the following Safety Features.

  •  Air bags – If an airbag light is on the vehicle’s airbags will NOT deploy in the event of an accident. This vehicle should not pass a Safety Certificate Inspection if this light is on. If the light comes on – do not ignore it. Take it to your local mechanic and have the problem fixed as soon as possible.
  •  ABS – Automatic Braking System.
  • Good tyres, Check that there is sufficient amount of tread but the brand is a reliable brand.
  • Suspension that works. Poor suspension will make braking distances longer.
  • All seatbelts are functional and not frayed.
  • Oil leaks onto the road surface and onto the exhaust. Oil leaks on the exhaust system is a potential fire  hazard. Those burnt down vehicles at the side of the highway are from this issue.


Unregistered vehicles

Never buy an unregistered vehicle for a first car without a pre-purchase inspection.

In the state of Queensland the seller does not need to supply a Safety Certificate for the vehicle and there is quite often a very expensive reason why the vehicle is being sold unregistered.

Remember that the seller will use high-pressure sales tactics to have you buy the vehicle.

Alarm bells should be ringing if for example, the seller tries to discourage you from having someone independently look over the vehicle.

Likewise, If the seller is telling you that there are other parties looking at the vehicle as well and you may lose the sale if you wait for a pre-purchase inspection.

Most Importantly, keep in mind that each model was made in mass production and there will be another vehicle on the market in the future. You want to take your time to find a vehicle of your choice in the best possible condition.

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