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Choosing your first car

Car for saleAs a young driver once you have passed your test you will be keen to get on to the road and practice your new skills. You may have agreed use of a parents car in advance and this may be linked to a Parent Young Driver Agreement, or you may be looking to buy your first car.

Choosing your first car is an exciting time, it is equally very important from a safety point of view. RoSPA has an information sheet to help you choose the best car for you. With 1 in 5 young drivers crashing in their first year of driving it is vital that the car bought offers the maximum crash protection as possible. RoSPA has produced a car buyers A-Z guide of vehicle safety jargon to help identify key safety features.

Buying a second-hand car

Before you rush out and make that important purchase there’s some things you should really think about first. If it’s a second-hand car, get it checked before buying to ensure that the seller is the legal owner, there is no outstanding finance on the vehicle and it is in a safe road worthy condition. You can find out what information the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency holds at the DVLA vehicle information website. You’ll need the vehicle’s make and registration number for this.

V5 vehicle registration certificate

Check that the V5C vehicle registration certificate (log book) has a DVL watermark, is the latest issued and the details in the log book are correct.

Did you know?

1 in 5 young drivers will crash in their first year of driving.

MOT (if over three years old)

Check if the MOT certificate is genuine and that the car's MOT history is correct.

For further information the Money Advice Service explains the MOT test in more depth.

Vehicle identification number

Check the vehicle identification number and engine number match the DVLA records.


It is also very worthwhile to do an HPI check to ensure there is no outstanding finance on the car.

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