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Novice questions on buying a first car

  • 14-05-2021 4:02pm
    Registered Users Posts: 16 Audio Carnivore

    Hi all,

    I'm thinking of buying a used car in the near future. The sticky thread on this forum has some really good tips and advice (my thanks to user L-M if they're reading this) but there are a few questions I didn't see answered and that are particular to my situation and I'd appreciate any guidance that drivers here could offer.

    I'll begin by saying that I only learned to drive late in life. I'm in my early forties now (male) and passed my test in 2018. Since then my only driving has come when using my parents' cars. So I've never bought a car before and I'm not sure what information you need to have in hand before buying one.

    Q1: Insurance. Do I need to have a quote from an insurer before I buy a car? Or do I need to know what make/model car I'm buying first and what condition it's in?

    Q2: More insurance stuff. Roughly what would you consider a reasonable insurance quote for a guy in his early forties who's only been driving on and off for the past four years?

    Q3: Tax. Again, do you need to know how much you're going to pay in road tax before approaching a second-hand car dealer? Or do you notify Revenue after you've purchased the car?

    Q4: Dealerships. What information would I need to have before approaching a reputable dealer? I'm minded to buy from a dealer as buying from a private seller carries more risk.

    Any help is appreciated.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,943 ✭✭✭✭ Toyotafanboi

    You dont have to have an insurance quote before buying a car. Most people in a position like yours would get quotes before they buy a car though as the price of insurance can vary wildly from car to car, some will be much cheaper than others. That said if you aren't on a very tight budget, you dont "need" to get a quote first, it'll just help you not get a shock with insurance prices after commiting to a purchase.

    Hard or almost impossible to say what insurance will cost you as it based on age/ gender/ occupation/ location/ employment/ car make and model/ wind direction/ inner waist size etc. At a casual guess though i think in your position anything in or under €1000 would be a very good quote as a ball park on a sensible car.

    Road tax prices are different for every car. Whoever is selling the car should be able to tell you what the tax price is on that car. It's your own responsibility to tax it and you dont usually tax it until after the purchase is complete and the car is in your name.

    You don't need any info for approaching a dealer to show interest in a car, just some photo id, payslips and utility bills if looking to buy on finance, otherwise just bring yourself.

    Have you any particular cars in mind?

  • Registered Users Posts: 16 Audio Carnivore

    Thanks for all that. I don’t have anything picked out at the minute, no. My budget is pretty tight hence me thinking of a second hand car.