What To Look For In A Car

Buying your first car is an exciting moment. Finally getting behind the wheel of your car can lead to rushed decisions. Have you had a thorough think about the car you are buying? To help you with making your choice, we’ve put together a quick guide at what you should be looking for in a car.

Choosing a Make & Model

So you’ve started your search for your first car. Whether it’s on a used car forecourt, a private seller, or an online classified advert, here are some things you should be considering:

What’s it like to drive?

The hardest thing about buying a car is finding out what it is like to drive. The best way to do this is with a test drive, but when buying online or from a car auction, it might not always be possible. So what can you do? Well, do you know anyone who drives the same model? Can you have a go in theirs to get a feel for the car?

Buying a car online gives us more choice than ever before, but also makes it more difficult to give a car a proper test drive. Making the right choice will mean lots of research.

What are the reviews like?

There are a huge number of online review websites and youtube videos that offer expert opinion on what a car is like in terms of driveability, reliability and overall quality. But remember, don’t take an opinion for granted.

Read a selection of reviews across a variety of websites to ensure you get a better idea of what people think of the car. You can also look at user reviews online, to see what people who bought the car think. You can read what Creditplus customers have to say about cars they've owned in our car reviews section.

Is it safe?

Modern cars are fitted with state of the art safety equipment and technologies, making them more safe than ever before. So you may want to go for a newer model to ensure you get the best protection.

Another way to check on a car’s safety, is to visit the Euro NCAP website. The majority of modern cars are tested by Euro NCAP and given a star rating based on several important factors such as driver protection, child protection, pedestrian protection and crash test results.

Is it comfortable?

Something that is often overlooked, but comfort is vitally important when choosing a car. You want something that you can feel relaxed driving that doesn't leave you feeling pain at the end of each journey. Choose a car that matches your size (especially important for those who are shorter or taller than average). Finding a car that suits your body will make driving a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Checking a used car before you buy

When you’ve chosen the make and model you want, there are some additional things to look out for before you buy your car. 

History File

Does the car come with a comprehensive history file? You can check a car’s MOT certificate status online, but what about repairs and servicing? A careful owner keeps a record of all the work carried out, with invoices and receipts kept with in the car’s history file.

A file full of these documents is a sign that the driver has been looking after the car. If the car doesn’t have these documents, then it might be a sign that the driver wasn’t thinking about selling the car in future, and may have not cared for the car as much as a careful owner.

Complete a Vehicle Check

You don’t want to be buying a stolen car or a car that has existing finance payments outstanding that will pass to you when you buy the car. By completing a vehicle check, you can ensure that the car you’re buying is legal, roadworthy and does not have any existing finance agreement on the car. Here at Creditplus, we complete a vehicle check on all cars that we supply.

Does it come with a warranty?

As part of your car finance package, you have a 30 day period where you can ask for your car to be repaired free of charge, should you find a major fault with your car that wasn’t your fault. You may want to take a look at what extra protection the dealer offers. RAC Approved Dealers, such as Creditplus, provide a 6 month warranty as well as a comprehensive vehicle check. You will want some similar protection when buying your car. Find out more about the different protection levels Creditplus offers over at our Car Protection page.

Quick Recap

Find out what the car is like to drive

Check the car's safety rating and features

Look at the car's history file

Does it come with a warranty

Read some car reviews

Will the car be comfortable for you to drive?

Complete a vehicle check

Start searching for your new car

Finding the right car for you is simple with Creditplus. There are thousands of used and nearly new cars in our car search database available on finance. Our network of trusted dealers covers the entirety of the UK , with all the most popular makes and models available in a number of different specs and variations.

Visit the car search to find your new car.

Can’t find the exact car you’re looking for? Our Find, Fund, Deliver service could be the solution you’re looking for. We can find a car that meets your exact requirements, no matter how specific they might be. We’ll then search over 90 lending options to find the best car finance package for your individual personal and financial circumstances. Once everything is agreed, we’ll then arrange delivery of your car direct to your doorstep.

Find out more about our Find, Fund & Deliver service.

Start searching for your next car

Got a question for us?

If you require further assistance, our team of Customer Advisors are here to help. We're open six days a week - you can view our opening hours here - and we're more than happy to answer your questions.