Now it’s time to decide what makes and models you might buy, consistent with your needs and budget.
Whether you are buying new or used, do your research and look for car reviews, ANCAP safety ratings and any reports of problems for the models you are considering.
We suggest sticking with popular bread-and-butter brands including Toyota, Mazda, Hyundai, Kia etc. European and prestige brands might be attractive but could prove more expensive for parts, repairs and insurance.
Look for the best safety features you can find for your budget too. And if you are on your P plates (P1 or P2 and under 25 years), remember there are high-powered vehicle restrictions that could apply.
Check TMR’s website for details. Sports models could also prove dearer to insure, repair and for wear items such as tyres and brake parts.
Once you hit the streets in search of your chosen model, take your time, be patient and carefully check what’s available.
Try to find a car in good condition and preferably as late a model and as low kilometres as possible.
Look for a car with a proven full-service history.
Don’t rely on a Safety Certificate in lieu of an inspection – it only covers off on certain basic safety items; it doesn’t tell you whether it’s a good car or not.
You don’t have to buy the first car you look at and don’t be pressured into buying something you aren’t comfortable with or that exceeds your budget.
Take a friend or relative, preferably someone who knows about cars, with you to help keep you on the straight and narrow.
And always have a professional pre-purchase inspection before committing to buy a used car.
Once you have bought the car, you own any problems it may have.
There are plenty of good used cars out there, sometimes they just take a little finding.
The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.