Let’s Talk Cars

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Vauxhall Corsa VXR Clubsport Cars

Most twenty-something-year-olds daydream about their dream car. Often considered more of a ‘man’s thing,’ ladies are catching up with their desire to be stylish behind the wheel. For some, cars are merely a means of transport. For others, they are a fashion statement and a way in which they express themselves, similar to how they would when choosing an outfit. So what cars are out there that are affordable, reliable and easy on the eye? And what payment options do you have?

If you’re at the age where you are feeling independent, and you have itchy feet, the chance is that you either drive or want to drive. Having those four wheels allows you the freedom to get up and go, whether it be sunny days out, trips to the beach, or simply a late night shop run for a midnight feast. If you are fortunate to be able to own and drive a car, or this is something you are considering very soon, you may be wondering what car to opt for. There is just so much choice! Here, the fast favourite first cars will be explored.

Vauxhall Corsa VXR
Vauxhall Corsa VXR – Photo credit: Vauxhall Motors

Vauxhall Corsa

Although common, the Vauxhall Corsa is a compact, functional and attractive little car with many great features. It is common for a reason. These cars generally have a smaller engine, meaning that they are cheaper to run and insure – a massive bonus for a new or young driver. If you’re buying new, you can select from a variety of beautiful colours, as well as some very cool extras.

Suzuki Swift

Suzukis are known to be sturdy and reliable, and the Suzuki Swift gives you those same qualities compacted into a smaller car. Again, these come in an array of colours, with the standard being a rather smart white. Engine sizes go a little bigger than the Corsa, so the insurance is a little more expensive but still affordable. A bonus with the Swift is that Suzuki does an excellent scrappage scheme, offering up to £2,000 off a new Suzuki when you trade in your old car to be scrapped.

Suzuki Swift Sport
Suzuki Swift Sport

Fiat 500

You probably saw it coming – the Fiat 500. A trendy choice in younger drivers, and rightly so. Not only is it small, quirky and fashionable – it makes a great first car. Another smaller engined car, with low insurance, tax and cheap to run. The Fiat 500 isn’t a racing car by any standard, but it is deceptively responsible for a smaller car. For those of you who like the thought of driving down picturesque country roads, with your music on, sun on your face and the wind in your hair, you can opt to have a convertible soft top! Which colour would you choose?

Peugeot 208

Peugeot 208s are as popular now as they ever were. These are some of the cheapest cars around, and yet for the low price, you don’t lose out on any of the quality or functions. Not only are they great value, but they are also really economical and reliable too. There are plenty of reviews online reflecting this too, making it a somewhat safe but snazzy car choice.

Fiat 500
Fiat 500

Now you have seen some of the options available to you, what next? There are three main ways of paying for a car; buying the vehicle outright, buying the car on finance, or taking out a loan to buy the car. There are pros and cons to each, which will be explored.

Buying outright

If you are fortunate enough to have any sum of money to spend on a car, you may be tempted to buy outright. Unless you have an unusually large lump sum of money, you can assume that you can afford to buy a second-hand car. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. In fact, this route has many positives. It is a well-known fact that being a younger driver puts you at higher risk of being involved in an accident. This is why it is logical to have a mid-low range car if that applies to you. The positive of buying your vehicle outright is that you will then own it once you’ve handed over the money and driven the car away. No more money to pay, apart from… the usual expenses; fuel, tax, MOT and insurance. These are however, reasonably low monthly costs in comparison to the monthly costs of a finance deal. You also won’t have unexpected bills from causing damage to the car, because if you buy the car outright, it’s up to you what condition you keep it in. The same is said for mileage; you won’t need to worry about going over a mileage limit. Another potentially obvious benefit of buying outright is that you can sell the car whenever you please.

Peugeot 208
Peugeot 208

Getting a loan

For those who don’t want or are not in the position to buy a car outright, another option is to get a loan. This way, you can ask for a realistic amount of money, buy the car outright and then pay off your monthly loan repayments. Secured instalment loans are loans that you can take out and then pay back in affordable payments each month for an agreed amount of time. Always do your research with loans, look around and research companies to find better interest rates and benefits. Good loan companies should not only offer a good interest rate, but also flexibility and a clear budget, taking into account your outgoings and what you can realistically afford. The negatives of this method are that you will always pay back more than you borrow meaning that you will have paid more than the value of the car over time. If you fail to make your monthly repayments, then you could end up in financial struggles quite quickly – so please always borrow responsibly.

Finance

Buying a car on finance is an increasingly popular option. A finance deal is a type of loan given out by a car company, allowing you to pay for the car you want each month. You may be required to put down a deposit on the vehicle, reducing the amount you owe and thereby reducing your monthly repayments. Finance deals usually last around three years. When the three years are up, the usual process is that you are either offered to pay off the rest of the car in a lump sum, so you own the car outright, or you return the car and can take out another finance deal. You can do this through the same company or look around for others. Again, it’s essential to research the best deals for your finance, as some offer interest at much better rates than others. Some benefits come with buying a car this way. Your car will likely be under warranty, so that if anything goes wrong in a certain amount of time, then you can take the car back to the dealership for repair for free. If you have bought a new car, you will also be exempt from MOT’s for three years and pay no road tax. A downside to buying a car on finance is that you have to be careful with your mileage, you will have a limit each year, and if you go over this, you can be charged heavily. Always read the small print before you sign anything!

Buying a car should by no means be a rushed decision – it takes time to evaluate what you need in a car and what your financial position is. Once you have considered this carefully and taken the plunge with your new car, you can sit back, and enjoy the ride.

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