What's the Best First Car to Buy? Here's what to look for!
As a soon-to-be first-time car owner, deciding which car to buy can often feel a bit daunting, However, if you do your research and take your time shortlisting the best first cars that suit your lifestyle and budget, you’ll find your perfect match in no time.
Financial considerations you need to consider when purchasing your first car
Many first-time car buyers make the mistake of only considering the purchase price when looking at first car options. However, this can lead to unfortunate surprises down the road when they realize they’ve purchased a car that has really low fuel economy or requires a lot more maintenance than expected. When it comes to fuel costs, buyers should consider the differences between petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles before deciding which choice they’re most comfortable with. For example, hybrid vehicles, such as the popular Toyota Corolla, not only offer great fuel economy but are often less expensive to insure as they are healthier for the environment.
With regards to maintenance costs, first car buyers need to know to expect the unexpected when purchasing an older vehicle. That’s why it’s so important to get a mechanical inspection done before purchasing. New vehicles, however, often come with warranties that only require annual servicing of the vehicle which is usually easier to budget for.
Should my first car be new or used?
Everyone will have their own list of new and used pros and cons when asked which way they would go when purchasing a first car. Often, first-time buyers will purchase an older, second-hand vehicle because they believe that it’s the most economical way to go. However, when they factor in maintenance costs, safety concerns and insurance, buying an older car isn’t always the smartest decision.
New cars offer the benefit of having the latest safety technology as well as full-term warranties. For example, all new models of the Toyota Yaris come with impressive safety features such as speed sign recognition, lane-tracing assistance, a reverse camera, autonomous emergency braking, and automatic high beams. For new drivers, these types of additions can offer a lot more confidence when getting behind the wheel.
That’s not to say that you can’t get a great used car if you do your research and purchase from a licenced dealer. Toyota has a great range of certified pre-owned vehicles that give buyers a certain peace of mind knowing that they’ve purchased a safe, reliable used car from a reputable dealer. As a bonus, all of their certified pre-owned vehicles offer a full year of Toyota Roadside Assist - a 24/7 service that’s on your side if your battery dies, you get a flat tyre, or lock your keys in the car - among other little mishaps.
What are the safety considerations when purchasing my first car?
Any new or used car you purchase should meet the five-star safety rating and nothing less. First car buyers should also take into account safety features such as parking assist, blind spot monitoring, and the number and placement of airbags. The Corolla is packed with safety features that both first time and experienced car buyers will enjoy such as front, curtain, front-side and driver’s knee airbags, lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist.
Another Toyota favourite, the C-HR, comes standard with emergency braking with pedestrian detection, traffic-sign recognition, and lane-keeping assist with road-edge detection. For first car buyers, all of these safety features will be sure to ease the anxiety of getting out on the open road with a new vehicle for the first time.
Why your first car should suit your lifestyle
Not only should your first car be a smart financial decision and keep you safe on the roads, it should also be suitable to take you where you need to go. Do you escape to the beach or the Hinterland every weekend? Are you commuting down the Bruce Highway to the city on a regular basis? Or does your lifestyle involve zipping around town daily? All of the vehicles in Toyota’s small car range can handle everything from hilly Hinterland driving to highway cruising. For example, all of the Yaris models are comfortable and efficient for getting around town and day tripping to the beach, however, the Yaris Cross not only has optional AWD to keep you even more connected to the winding mountain roads, but it has even more cargo room for weekend camping trips and extra surf gear.
The C-HR is also an excellent option for first car buyers who love getting away to explore the Sunshine Coast’s inland villages and mountaintop vistas. Not only is this vehicle easy to handle, it comes equipped with the Hill-start Assist Control which prevents the vehicle from rolling back on hills by allowing more time to move your foot between the brake and accelerator pedals.
So what is the best first car to buy?
The best first car to buy is one that will suit your lifestyle, fit your budget and keep you safe on the road - and Toyota has some of the best first cars Australia has to offer. With their impressive line-up of small cars to suit a range of budgets and lifestyles, Sunshine Coast drivers are spoiled for choice!