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A Guide to Buying Your First Car

an image of a toy car in a shopping trolley, indicating the car buying process

Buying your first car can be a complicated endeavour; there are a myriad of different factors that you have to consider in order to ensure you’re collating the best package for yourself. The main aspects of buying your first car are cost, safety, and reliability. You are going to want to find the best vehicle to cover all of these categories in order to be happy and comfortable with your choice.

Today, Ken’s Autos are going to use our expertise in order to decipher the best course of action for new drivers buying their first car by splitting the question into three sections; affordability, safety, and reliability. You can find our takeaway below.


When we think about the cost of a first car, some of us will immediately cast our minds toward an old, used car with 150,000 miles on the clock. Although these are likely to pose the lowest initial investment, they are going to be expensive to upkeep throughout ownership.

Your budget should cover the cost of the car itself, car insurance, MoT, car tax, fuel, servicing, repairs, and parts. This is often not considered when pondering the cost of your first car, so it makes the decision more complicated. New cars are likely to require lower costs for upkeep, but a larger initial investment, with the opposite being true for used cars.

With PCP finance schemes becoming more affordable and there also being the option of schemes from manufacturers that cover all running costs aside from fuel, new cars are a real possibility. If a used car is more suited to you, take note of the mileage, manufacturer, condition, and service history as indicators of the running costs likely to ensue. There are also plenty of ‘best first car guides’ online that show you the best vehicles on the market for you.


Safety is essential for all car owners, but perhaps even more so for young and inexperienced drivers who (as a demographic) account for the highest percentage of road traffic accidents. As a general rule of thumb, newer cars are safer than older cars due to the higher standard of regulations they have been subject to throughout production, so this can be another reason to invest a little more money to ensure you’re not driving around an old banger.


As you may have noticed, the three main pillars of discussion in our guide to buying your first car are all interconnected and play off each other. Finally, we must discuss reliability and the implications this can have on your experience as a new driver.

Naturally, this is situational and might affect those that frequently drive long journeys more than people who will drive their car irregularly. The overarching feeling, though, is that you don’t want to worry about your car breaking down all the time, so a reliable car is essential.

Points to consider for reliability are the manufacturer and the age of the car. Generally speaking, Japanese and German cars have built a reputation for reliable cars and the newer the car the more reliable it is likely to be. Again, a vehicle with 200,000 miles is likely to be more susceptible to a breakdown than a car that has been gently used with 40,000. There are exceptions to these rules as well, obviously, but there are again resources online to help you identify reliable cars.

Over to You

We understand that buying your first car can be a daunting process, especially if you don’t have people around you with experience in the area. If you follow our guide, though, and focus on affordability, safety and reliability, you should find the right car for you that fits the requirements you have.

Now it’s over to you to take onboard all of the advice we have offered you and find the right car!

Ken’s Autos

Here at Ken’s Autos, we provide a range of mechanic services that can ensure your first car is running as it should. If you’d like to hear more, please call us on 01883 622 069 or fill out our simple contact form and a member of our team will handle your enquiry.