Driving for Dummies: Buying your first car

Everything you need to know when buying your first car.


So, you’re looking at buying your first car, but what should you look for? Don’t worry, Tracy Jordan, the Use Car Manager at South Tacoma Honda, has you covered.

The first thing you should look for when car shopping are safety features.

“As a new driver, you want something smaller so you can easily navigate around cars,” Jordan said.

Jordan also said, “Insurance is really high because it’s risky for new drivers.” This would be something to factor into your budget when shopping. When asked about what to look for in terms of budget, Jordan said, “It’s dependent on income and family budget.”

When safety was brought up, we were told that airbags, visibility, less distractions, and forgiveness in road space should be prioritized. You can also look for safety ratings and features at sites like autobrochures.com, where you can look up the exact car you’re looking at.

When discussing specific cars that meet these standards, Jordan said the following met this criteria:

The 4-Door Honda Civic is rated at 5 stars in all safety categories according to the manufacturer details on Honda’s many dealership sites. It also comes equipped with airbags and has high visibility through the rear windows.

The Toyota Corolla is ranked with 5 stars in overall safety by the NHTSA (Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration) as well with high visibility and airbags.

The Chevy Cobalt is the only car here without a recent 4-Door model. They also come standard with a 5-speed manual transmission. The NHTSA gives it 4 stars safety rating in most areas with the exception being 5 stars in passenger safety.