Having your own set of wheels is your ticket to independence, but it's also a big financial step. Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for your first car.

Car shopping

Decide on your budget

How much you can you comfortably afford to spend on your first car? Don't forget to consider additional costs like registration, insurance and a vehicle inspection, as these can quickly add up. Check our car running costs guide to get an idea of the kind on ongoing costs you’ll be up for.

Do you need to apply for a personal loan? If so, look at getting a pre-approved loan before shopping. Knowing how much you can afford will give you more bargaining power

Used vs New

There are many pros and cons to buying a new or a used car, with each option providing its own set of considerations. For example, new cars have the latest technology and may have better fuel economy, while a well-maintained used car may still have modern features but be cheaper.

Do your research to get a good understanding of what is out there, what the costs are and what might work for you.

Private vs Dealer

There are different ways you can buy a vehicle, each with their pros and cons. Buying privately is often cheaper than through a dealer, but when you buy through a dealership, they are obligated to offer a statutory warranty on cars built in the past 10 years. 

Find out more about the pros and cons

Get online

Once you've narrowed down your car criteria, tap into car guides and find out more. Redbook.com.au, Glass’s Guide and Australia’s Best Cars will all give you helpful information about different models, costs and prices.

Buy the way you want

You might like the idea of online shopping, or you might prefer to visit a dealership and take it for a test drive. RAC Finance can help you buy the car of your dreams - any way you'd like to shop.

RAC Finance