Which Qualities Should You Look for in Your First Car?

Buying your first car is a big step and a real rite of passage, but it’s a big decision which you’ll want to take a little bit of time over.

There’s a lot to be thinking about when you’re browsing for your new pride and joy, but here are just some of the main qualities that you should be on the lookout for.

5 Qualities You Should Check In Your First Car

Overall Vehicle Condition

The first thing to look at is the overall condition that the vehicle is in. If it’s used, which it most likely will be for your first car, chances are that it will have some wear and tear, but this is exactly why you’re getting such a good deal on it!

The sort of things you really need to be looking for are things such as the mileage, the tread of the tires and whether the lights and indicators are working.

These all go beyond just the aesthetics of the car and will actually have an impact on the performance and safety, so be sure to keep an eye on them.

VW Motor Parts also recommend that you check whether any aftermarket parts have been used to modify the vehicle, as these can be of lesser quality and put your vehicle at risk.

Performance is Important

If it’s your first car, chances are you don’t know what a lot of this means, but depending on what you’re going to be using it for, the performance of the car will likely be of at least some importance to you.

Note things such as the capacity of the engine (CC) and the peak horsepower and torque, as well as how many gears the transmission has.

If this is all going over your head, it might be an idea to have a quick browse at other posts of our site, just to brush up on some basics.


Cars these days come with more and more extras, some of which can help make your life a lot easier, such as a Sat Nav system, while others are purely for aesthetics or comfort such as leather seats or under-seat heating.

If you’re planning on belting out some tunes while you celebrate your new-found freedom with your car, be sure to check whether it has an AUX jack to plug your phone in, or whether you’re going to have to rely on the radio or CDs (if it only has a tape deck, you’ll probably want something slightly more this century!).

Environmental Impact

It’s also important to consider the impact that your new car is going to have on the environment, so be sure to check how fuel-efficient it will be. A higher fuel-efficiency will mean lower fuel costs for you too.

New generation hybrid cars are extremely fuel-efficient and environment-friendly. However, if you buy a used car, you should inspect the engine thoroughly.

Remember that diesel engines are more efficient than petrol ones, but that they can also have higher particle emissions. Vehicles with cleaner engines can also be eligible to pay less on their road tax.

Safety Rating

It’s really important not to overlook the safety of a vehicle, so be sure to check out its safety rating before making any decisions.

Vehicle manufacturers know how important safety is to consumers, so they regularly carry out new tests and publish the results themselves, but you can also choose to head the independent crash test safety body.


Never do hurry while purchasing your first car. Research about vehicles and learn as much as possible before you make the final decision.