In the market for a set of wheels? Never bought a car before? In celebration of International Youth Day, herewith tips from Ford Motor Company to help you navigate the decision-making and buying process to avoid costly mistakes.

1.   Research

Once you’ve decided on the best type and size of car for your needs (hatchback, sedan, SUV, pick-up truck, manual, automatic, diesel, petrol), you need to do some thorough research (manufacturers’ websites, motoring reviews, word-of-mouth), and narrow it down to a handful of options. Also keep your eyes open for any specials or promotions. The Ford website we reckon is a good start, visit https://www.ssa.ford.com/. Please ensure you select your country to get accurate information on available models.

2.   Specs

We know it’s tempting to only look at the fun stuff, such as entertainment features and cool wheel options, but it’s best to start with safety and comfort features. If you choose a car that already has excellent safety features as standard, you’ll have more room to play with accessories. The e-Brochures on Ford’s website give you a comprehensive overview of the features on each car they’re currently selling, and can be downloaded and printed for your convenience.

3.   Maintenance/warranty

Even if you’re on a very tight budget, it’s worth paying a little extra for a car which comes with a decent maintenance / warranty plan, as it could actually end up saving you money in the long run.

4.   Dealership

It’s a good idea to visit your nearest Ford dealership in order to find the perfect fit, as these are the people who will be looking after you and your car for many years to come. Please visit Coscharis Motors, Ford’s sole dealer in Nigeria, for an idea of what’s available to you.

5.   Test drive

A test drive is the only way to get a solid impression of a car’s driving dynamics, features, and comfort levels. Take note of all the details so you can do a proper comparison between the cars on your shortlist afterwards. Make sure the seats are comfortable, the controls are easy to reach, and all the instruments are clearly visible.

6.   T&Cs

It is imperative you run through all the terms and conditions with your dealer, to avoid any surprises later on. Do not be afraid to ask questions, and make sure you fully understand the fine print before signing on the dotted line.