Congratulations! You’re at the stage in your life where you can finally afford to buy your first car. For most people, your own car unlocks a level of independence and freedom, allowing you to get from point A to B quick and effortlessly! With so many options on the market to consider, it’s difficult to not get carried away with excitement but finding the right car for you, whether it’s brand new or previously owned, can be challenging. Therefore, you need to consider some important aspects first before signing on the dotted line.

Top tips to buying your first car, and keeping it!

Courtesy of Matrix, here are a few tips to help you navigate your way around this decision-making process:

  1. Weigh up your options

Previously owned vs new? Sedan vs coupe? French vs German car? These are some of the important questions that you may be asking yourself. However, it’s important to weigh up all your options – which car is best suited to your budget, lifestyle and needs. A car is a long-term commitment, and by weighing up your options you can get a full view of what is available on the market, within your specific budget, to ensure that you are still happy with your car a couple years down the line.

  1. Take it for a test drive

Even though this is an exciting time for you, and one that you would want finalised as soon as possible, it’s important that you don’t feel pressured by a sales person to purchase a specific vehicle. Instead, take your time, and take someone that is car-savvy along with you to test drive the car. By doing so, you can ensure that all the important vehicle components such as the engine, brakes, steering wheel and tyres are in good working condition and that the vehicle meets your specific driving requirements.

There’s nothing worse than being stuck with a problematic vehicle down the line – which could also set you back financially in the long run.

  1. Can you afford it?

A mistake that many car owners make is that they overlook the additional vehicle expenses that creep up down the line. When shopping around for your first car, always factor in service costs, insurance, fuel costs and general maintenance – all on top of your monthly repayments.

  1. The most important part – installing a tracking device

Once you have decided which car you are purchasing, don’t forget the most important aspect – you and your vehicle’s safety. Today we live in a high crime society where the statistics of stolen/hijacked vehicles are alarmingly high. It is important that you consider a tracking device that not only protects your car and its movements but that protects you while on your journey. Search for vehicle tracking providers such as Matrix, that can offer you a tailor-made service offering, one that offers an app from where you can view your vehicle’s location, notifies you when you are in unsafe areas and ensures that you are not left stranded should your car break down. The value-added benefit of installing a tracking device is that it can help lower your insurance premiums – and if you are under 25, there is no doubt this is a great relief.

It’s easy to get carried away when buying your first car, but remember to pause, and think things through clearly before making your final decision. In addition, once you have purchased your new set of wheels, invest in a vehicle tracking and recovery device that will ensure your vehicle’s safety as well as your own personal safety while driving – it’s worth it.