Shopping for your first car is an exciting prospect for any young driver. However, it’s easy to get bogged down with all the technical details whilst also sticking to a tight budget. 

It may be tempting for you to try and get on the road as quickly as possible but don’t get rushed into making a decision quickly. Instead, make sure you do thorough research into your ideal car and finding the best deal. Here are some things you should research when buying a used car:
What Can You Afford?

When looking at what used car you can afford, it’s more than just the upfront cost or finance repayments that you should take into consideration. Don’t forget about additional outgoings, which include:

Insurance – this cost can be affected by the car’s engine size, number of seats, any non-standard modifications and the age of the car. Generally, the larger and older the car, the more expensive it is to insure.
Tax – this price is based on CO2 emissions of the vehicle. Depending on the car, the yearly rate could range from £0 to £2,000!
Servicing and repairs – you’ll have to pay for servicing once a year, which usually costs around £120 but can vary depending on the car’s model. 
MOTs – this typically costs around £55 each year
Fuel – consider the fuel efficiency of the car as if you plan to do a lot of miles, this could have a significant impact on your bank account.

Here are some tips to help you keep your fuel prices low.

Check the Car History
If you’re buying your used car from a private seller, you should check the car’s history to protect yourself from motoring scams and fraud. With dodgy practices like clocking, car cloning and cut-and-shut around, you can perform a car check through HPI to receive a comprehensive report about the car you want to buy and check over. They check the car for data like:

Whether it’s been recorded as stolen or scrapped
Number plate changes
Mileage discrepancies 
If there’s any outstanding finance
If it has been an insurance write-off
Number of previous owners

This data can be very valuable so that you know your used car purchase is legitimate. It can also save you from further problems down the line, which could end up being very costly if your car develops mechanical faults or require expensive repairs.
When you’re buying a used car, don’t forget to put in the research. Follow our top tips to make sure you buy a used car that is affordable to run and reliable, with a clean history.