Motorama P Plate Tips First Car Buyer

Best P Plater Cars

So you’ve got your new license and the family car is in high demand.

You’ve decided: it’s time for your own car.

But how do you know what your options are? You’ll want a car that expresses your personality, but can be counted on to start every time.

There are two obvious options: buying brand new or buying used.

Buying new

Buying new means you may have to let go of having a top-of-the-line model, but you will have the latest technology and a car that you know no one has driven. A new car has the wow factor of being ‘your car’ and yours only, until you decide to move on.

When looking at a new car, you have to evaluate if it fits what you need to do, has low running costs and a good servicing scheme (most volume manufacturing brands will have capped price servicing.)

Safety is paramount in all cars, and it’s good to see that carmakers have gotten serious about safety – even in their smallest models. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) is an independent body that tests cars to give them a star rating out of five. A five out of five is the gold standard, meaning that a car is doing the most to protect you and your passengers in the event of a crash.

We’ve run the ruler over a few of our most popular first cars.

Toyota Yaris

Price: From $14,990 plus on-roads (Ascent hatch manual)

Motorama Toyota Yaris P Plate First Car Buyer 

Toyota’s smallest car has been around for a decade, replacing the Echo hatch and sedan. A regular at the top of small car lists – it has pulled itself up by its bootstraps to beef up a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, styling and pricing. The Yaris caught on with buyers looking for an attractive, affordable light car.

It now sits as the priciest of the light car class, but it’s also the biggest – rivalling some ‘small car’ vehicles for space.

It is generally available on offer for $15,990 drive away for the Ascent hatch manual, or check our latest specials.

Nissan Micra

Price: From $12,990 plus on-roads (ST hatch manual)

Motorama Nissan Micra P Plate First Car Buyer 

The Nissan Micra came back, reinvented, as a fun, three-cylinder “bubble” in 2011 after over a decade away from Australia. The K13 Micra swept in on a tide of cuteness, which hides the durable, hardwearing car underneath.

With a roomy interior and thrifty, but willing, three-cylinder engine; the Micra has caught on with style-conscious shoppers who want something that expresses their style.

On offer, the Micra can be had for $12,990 drive away for the ST manual, or check our latest specials.

Mitsubishi Mirage

Price: From $12,990 plus on-roads (ES hatch manual)

Motorama Mitsubishi Mirage P Plate First Car Buyer 

The Mitsubishi Mirage came back to replace the Colt in 2013. Available in hatch and sedan, the Mirage has been a success for Mitsubishi – who have a long history with city cars in Australia.

Like the Nissan, it uses a three-cylinder engine, and the Mirage’s capped price servicing is one of the cheapest in its class ¬– only costing $250 for each annual visit for the first three years. In fact, NRMA found that the Mirage hatch as the cheapest car to own and run in its survey in 2013.

The Mirage is regularly on offer at $12,990 drive away for the ES hatch manual; or check our latest specials.

Holden Barina Spark

Price: From $13,990 plus on-roads (CD hatch manual)

Motorama Holden Barina Spark P Plate First Car Buyer

The Barina Spark was Holden’s first leap into the city car market in 2011, and it was a runaway success with its edgy styling and value for money. Complementing the larger Barina, the Spark added a fresh new look to Holden’s lineup.

For drive away deals, the Barina can be found for $13,990 for the CD hatch manual – but can vary depending on the offer, so be sure check our latest specials.

Buying used

Used cars often have the benefit of being depreciated, thanks to someone else using them because they’re not fresh out of the factory. You can pick up a bigger or better car than new, because your dollar tends to stretch further in the used car market.

However, you may fall into the trap of buying a car from someone who has trashed his or her car and is looking to offload it onto you. This doesn’t mean that used cars are junk.

Late model cars at dealers (who have vetted any used car) and even demonstrator models (that were owned by the dealership) can cut thousands off the price of a current model car.

Cars from private sellers are even cheaper still; you just have to look a bit harder than at a dealership to find one in an appropriate condition for its age, that’s also at the right price.

When looking for a used car, you want something late model for style and safety, that has easy access to parts, a widespread dealership network for service, affordable running costs and offers reliability so you’re not spending all your time at the workshop.

Our experienced service technicians are quick to recommend late model small cars for first car buyers, particularly makes from Japan such as Toyota. Not only have these had a consistent build quality in terms of interiors, as well as mechanical components – the dealership network of brands such as Toyota, Nissan and Mazda criss-cross the country, so if the worst happens – you can be towed to a service centre.

Cars like the Toyota Corolla, Nissan Pulsar, Mazda2, Mitsubishi Lancer and Honda Jazz have proven themselves as reliable performers – and have now been bumped down in price.

Large cars can also represent excellent value, thanks to business fleets renewing their stock after a few years.

The Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon and Toyota Camry are favourites of government departments and large businesses that refresh their company cars every few years leaving regularly serviced, lightly driven cars at huge discounts.

The main downside is the running costs of a large car (fuel, service) – so you have to question what you’ll mainly be using your car for. If you have to help with driving the family (i.e. taking your brothers and sisters to school, picking up the shopping) consider going up to a larger car, but if you’re just going to school, uni or work – maybe go for something that you can maintain with your budget.

Motorama has a huge range of used cars, as well as new cars from seven of Australia’s favourite brands – all conveniently located in Brisbane’s south. Our sales people, business managers and service technicians can help you out with any questions you have about buying a car from finance options to choosing a colour.