With a driver's license in your pocket, buying your first car is a special moment. Generally, since our budget is limited, we can't really bring ourselves to buy the vehicle of our dreams. Buying a used car is the best thing to do when you have just got your license.

Know your budget to choose the most suitable first car

A young driver's first car is rarely a large German sedan. Too expensive and cumbersome, these vehicles are not really suitable. Instead, we're going to go for a smaller, urban-type car, the price of which is within our budget. Of course, some are lucky enough to have parents who help them and pay them a much more expensive model. But as a general rule, the budget for a first car is between 2000 and 5000€.

Calculate the purchase budget for your first car

In summary, when estimating the actual cost of a first vehicle, the following criteria must be taken into account:
  • Vehicle purchase price
  • Price of the registration certificate (car registration document) and any additional taxes
  • Insurance price, depending on the type of contract chosen
  • Vehicle fuel consumption
  • Maintenance costs such as replacement of worn parts or roadworthiness tests
  • Interest and consumer credit insurance if you choose this financing solution
  • Possible State aid: the ecological bonus and/or the conversion premium

Choose the type of motorization according to your needs

However, the budget is not the only criterion and you must also make your choice according to your profile and the use you will make of your first car. The motorization of a vehicle is decisive. Of course, the electric or hybrid car is too expensive to be the first vehicle. You must surely choose a car with a combustion engine. Head for a gas vehicle if you don't do a lot of driving, gasoline versions of the same model are less expensive to buy and for insurance purposes. If you regularly make long journeys, or if you like to go away on weekends, a diesel vehicle is more suitable, as it involves fewer costs for long distances.

Turn to a used car

Given a young driver's limited budget, you can rarely afford to buy a new car. The best solution is therefore to turn to the second-hand car market, i.e. second-hand cars or even more. However, even in this second-hand market, there are very significant disparities between a recent vehicle with very few kilometres and a car that left more than ten years ago and has more than 100,000 km on its meter. If your budget allows it, choose a recent occasion. A second-hand vehicle first registered less than 3 years ago. You will be able to benefit from a more advantageous price than the new one while enjoying the comfort and safety of the latest models. While the older the vehicle is and has a higher number of kilometres, the more affordable it is, it may be more expensive to maintain and repair. However, the lower the value of the vehicle and the lower the insurance costs will be. Depending on your budget, you need to find the right balance between a used car that is affordable, but remains in good condition and still has a long enough life span. The brand and model are to be taken into account, as some do much better than others.