Buying a New Car, Need Advice and Suggestions

I'm in my early thirties and have never driven before since I never felt the need to own a car or for that matter drive. But after covid and social distancing in place now I feel like it's time to get one.
I do not know anything about cars and have an upper limit of around 50k for a new car.
I am looking into getting a car which can last me at least 5 years and have decent space, small SUV perhaps preferably with good safety ratings.


  • Start with a bicycle

  • Please do some research yourself before asking such a huge question.

    Go to and put in 50k as the only option, then pick one.

  • You need advice, not advise.

  • Don't get an SUV just because everyone else does, they aren't great to drive. If I had 50k to spend, i'd be going straight to nearest Peugeot dealer and getting a demo 508 GT for about 45k. The best interior you will find at that price range and a beautiful car to drive. 5 years warranty, excellent fuel efficiency, something a bit different.

    • Are you a Peugeot salesman or just a very proud Frenchman? All your comments on previous car-related threads are very "Peugeot-pushing".

      Fact is, whether Peugeot is actually eliable or not nowadays doesn't get rid of the fact that they had a long history of reliability issues and associated high costs to fix those problems. And that's IF you can somehow get the parts for it.. A car is often a person's second largest purchase in their life after their home. Who in their right mind would put a large sum of money into a car could potentially cost them a lot more to own and fix?

      If Peugeot wants sales, they have to do something to prove to us that their cars are reliable over a period of time to gain back consumers' confidence.

      Face it, you wouldn't step foot into a restaurant that has a reputation for shit food and high prices so why would you expect someone to risk a lot of money on a car brand that has a similar reputation in it's own industry?

  • +13 votes

    If only there was a function where someone could search for other similar threads…

    No details, no specific requirements, no idea on what you plan to do with it. It’s like saying “I need a piece of string…”

    First car, never driven before, get a shitter for your first car. A used Camry or Corolla. If you want SUV, go Something like RAV, Tucson or Sportage. If you want sports, go 86.

    Get some good years of driving experience and then look at buying something newer/more expensive.

    InB4: FrEnCh CaRz aRe bEsT cArZ! (too late) Or the inevitable “tEsLa iS OnLy $30k MoRe aNd YoU WiLL sAvE tHaT On fUeL/SeRviCiNg iN tHe FiRsT yEaR!!”

  • +9 votes

    You've never driven a car and want to spend 50k on an SUV.

    Sir/ma'am… You shouldn't be on ozb…

    • I don't want to drop 50K, that the max I can. I'd probably be looking to save some of that

      • Why get something new? If you're inexperienced then it may not keep looking like new for long.

        I would be anxious driving a shiny new car without much experience. Get a first car and after a couple of years get the car you want.

  • Hi, If you want something economical to run, I have a Hyundai i30 Premium which is usually @ $38-40k. Lots of room inside (more that the base Hyundai Kona), comfortable. I bought a demo model that was 1 year old with 500kms, and it was @31k.

    My GF has a Suburu Impreza which is @ 30k, and its very impressive.

  • Brand new, easy to drive, small SUV? Kia Seltos or Hyundai Venue.

    Good visibility. You'll have a warranty for 7 years and probably won't have any problems.

    They're half your budget. If you want a car and don't want a hatch, go get one of those.

    Do not spend 50k on a car.

  • KIA Picanto. Cheap. Small. Reasonable. If you damage it you won't care (and you will damage it). 7 year warranty, 7 year capped price servicing. The only the only real extras will be tyres and breaks.

    Spending $50k on your first car is stupid.

    If you have a specific purpose other than brand new first car at 30 I would be happy to give you further advice.

    • Kia Cerato seems better value for only a little more

      • If we're talking about the new versions, the two are basically the same car (interior/performance), with Cerato being a bit more spacious. Though, last gen Cerato would be a good buy for a first car, good economy and easy to park.

      • You are right. The Picanto isn't a $15k car anymore.

        I would still recommend the Picanto over a Cerato as OP want's a small, safe SUV, and while it's not a 'SUV', it has the same seating position without any of the weird twisting you need to do to get in an SUV. Plus a similarly spec'ed Cerato to the GT Line is $10k more.

        The boot is small, but I have a similar sized boot and with a little consideration I can leave the camping kit in the boot and still fit the weekly groceries in.

  • 50K buys lots of Uber, not parking, no speeding fines, no MS Paint expenditure.

  • +13 votes

    2nd hand Camry.


  • Never driven before, Sir there is Toyota Camry with your name on it.

    /slaps roof

    other motorist wouldn't be able to tell that you never driven before while in a Camry.

  • A Hilux with a bull bar, roof light and rear step. Lots of space and safer than a hatch in a head to head or head to rear collision.

    • just buy a tank - much safest option - anything crashes into you, you just run them right over….

  • You don't really need to spend the upper limit of your budget unless maybe you want a nice RWD sporty sedan or coupe. I'd go for a demo or brand new Kia Cerato Sedan. 7 year warranty, capped price servicing and 5 star ANCAP. Demo can be had for under 28k and a brand new one is under 30k. Has all the safety features including adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist as well as leather seats, heated seats and some other nice features. An SUV is completely unnecessary for the significantly higher cost than an equivalent sedan, without anything more in the way of safety compared to a similar size sedan.

  • +4 votes

    are you a good driver? if not, dont start with a brand new car, you dont want to get bumps dents and scratches.

  • Don’t spend more than $20k

    Get a Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Hyundai. Maybe some others.

    Get a slightly older car, saves heaps of depreciation.

    The big one: work out what you need the car for and buy the smallest possible.
    only 1 person around town, Yaris, Jazz, Mazda 2 etc.
    Lots of shopping, occasional highway holidays, couple of passengers, corolla, Mazda 3, i30 hatch.
    4 people and luggage, Camry, possibly hybrid if lots of city driving.
    Carting a dog around, wagon or suv.
    mountain bikes, tents, rock climbing gear, 4wd ute.

  • things to consider
    where are u living house, apartment etc
    how big is the garage
    how steep is the driveway.
    do u,have a family
    starting a family?
    where are in driving it? to the station?

    could all impact the size and whether u get a new car or old

    if starting a family get a bigger car if not sports car
    if u drive to station and park might wanna get older car
    if u don't have a garage maybe an older car
    some driveways are quite steep and sports cars scratch like crazy, or large cars can't fit in gargae

  • OP, if you’ve never driven before, do you have a valid licence? Or are you on your Ls?

    • Yep just got my Ps

      • So how have you never driven before if you managed to get your Ps, which requires a driving test and a log of 120 hours?

        • I do not consider my learning experience on Ls as relevant driving experience as it was mostly supervised.

          • @Ashfield: Well, if you don't consider it as relevant driving experience, I echo the others and say you should be getting a second-hand car and perhaps buy a brand new car when you get your full licence …

            it was mostly supervised

            I would hope all driving you did on your Ls is supervised …

  • One of the reasons why people suggest Camry, is because you have little knowledge about cars (nothing wrong with that). You won't overspend owning a Camry, maintenance and running costs is relatively low.

    But apart from a Camry, really want brand new and use up a fair chunk of your $50K, then check out:

  • Wow lucky you but yes 50k on the first car you've ever driven is very foolish. I've been driving maybe 15 years and driven probably 20 different cars all around Australia.

    From a tiny 3cyl all the way up to an R33 turbo. VL turbo and VN SS.

    IT Takes alot of practice and experience to master the road rules let alone being able to anticipate every other road user.

    You should start with a basic car so that you can make mistakes and learn from them, in my years I've driven on many different roads highways hills gravel and every different surface requires you to adjust your technique.

    You need to learn to drive in all weathers condition as well I started with very little money as young fellow and one car I had with faulty wipers and had to drive 100ks in the rain with very little vision.

    Driving is a huge responsibility not just to yourself and your passengerrs but also to other road users, bikes, cars, children, skate board and such.

  • Asking a forum you will get 100 different opinions on the best car because everyone has their own loyalties.

  • GR Yaris.

    Will save you 5K cash (make sure you get insurance using that).

  • This is Oz bargain,what did you expect?All comments to be taken with a grain of salt.!More insults than anything!

  • Thank you everyone for your responses. I now have some ideas to start with.

  • You should look at getting a high yield investment vehicle

  • If you're really willing to spend $50k I'd recommend Hyundai Ioniq or Kona EV (compact SUV but bigger range). Don't waste time with fossils.

  • mitsubishi just announced 10 years warranty on all their range

  • Firstly, look on the internet, or down load Carsales… I say this bc it provides the opportunity for you to see what type of vehicles are out there.

    Inexperienced, you don't mention distance typically travelled… I would suggest: 1: Get on Utube and familiarise yourself with "How to Buy a Vehicle"… "How to negotiate a Car Purchase"… etc. 2: A secondhand car/small suv would be best for you - bc it will not matter if you ding it up or not…. and you will. 3: Do NOT rush in… car salesmen are going to jump on you…. Take someone as a "handbrake" who is essentially you "out card"… these people will have you at the desk signing upon the dotted line in no time… the "hand brake" can stop that.
    Do not go into undue debt…. like I said, just get a cheap secondhand up to 10k first. Then once you get more better at driving, you can venture into a more expensive vehicle.
    4: With vehicles under 20k… there is really no need to pay "full comprehensive insurance"… just do 3rd party fire and theft. This still covers your vehicle for 3k and fully covers the other vehicle.
    Mechanics… well… get ready to be ripped off!

    • Thank you for your comment. Makes total sense.

    • All good advice, but with regards to insurance, a 20k or even a 10k car not being comprehensively insured is 20k or 10k lost in a write off or (for example) 5k of repairs for a bingle. OTOH, with comprehensive, it is covered for third party and one's own car and the loss is only the premium plus excess. As an example 10k loss for a 10K car, verses 1.5k loss for a write of the same comprehensively insured car, considering an insurance premium of $900 and excess of $600. Of course, as the no claims bonus increases, the premiums go down over time.

  • I'd recommend you only look for cars with a 5 star ANCAP rating and LED headlamps.

    If you're looking for a "different" medium-sized SUV, there's the Renault Kadjar Intens for $37k. It has more torque than the RAV4 due to the turbo, uses less fuel and is 200-400kg lighter. Apple Carplay, Android Auto, rear USB ports and air vents, dual-clutch 7 speed auto (no CVT), all of that.

    • We dont need more LED (profanity) on the road

      • Yes we do. It should be compulsory. The RAV4 has LEDs as standard.

        Another interesting point, from that website:

        A study with model year 2010 Mazda 3 vehicles found that nighttime collision and property damage liability coverage claim rates fell by 10 percent and 15 percent, respectively, for Mazda 3 models with curve-adaptive lighting compared with those without. Daytime claims were unaffected by curve-adaptive headlights.

    • That all flips around if you spend $41k on the Rav4 GX Hybrid though (roof racks notwithstanding). Significantly lower fuel consumption, significantly higher power and torque, plus its nearly a size category up from the Renault.

      • There's actually demo Renault Kadjar Intens (highest spec with sunroof, LED headlamps, AEB, Bose speakers, surround parking sensors etc) available from $29,990-35K. The Kadjar has 5 year warranty and capped price servicing, engine co-developed with Mercedes which is used in the A-Class, shared drivetrain components with the Nissan Qashqai (cheaper to replace), the same rear seat space as the RAV4, actually has a 472-litre boot when the adjustable boot floor is lowered, and is 350kg lighter than the hybrid RAV4, so will handle far better and you're not paying to move around the extra weight. Batteries require replacement too.

        The two top-spec Kadjars (UK) get a flexible boot floor, which can be divided to partition the storage area, or raised up to create a flat load bay with no lip when you fold the seats down.

        Sure, the Kadjar is 1 second slower to reach 60kph vs the RAV4 Hybrid, but it also comes to a standstill 1m before the RAV4 from 100kph. That could be the difference between striking a pedestrian or not.

        • The price of the demos are attractive, ill give you that, plus perhaps the handling and stopping aspect. However the Rav, despite being significantly heavier, really does have stunning fuel economy. The thrashed demo I drove had an average of 5.3 l/100km over 2600km. That’s actually a pretty common figure amongst owners. The batteries last 12-14 years, my 11 yo 315,000km Prius is still original.

          Toyota hybrids are absolutely bulletproof, 15 million sold over 23 years + the Camry hybrid and Prius taxis doing 6-700,000km on the regular is proof. Very much doubt the Renault will be as trouble free with its European origins and DCT. Parts and repairs will definitely be higher due to it being more niche.

          Resale value will be typical Toyota great, Renault not so much. The Renault I’m sure is a fine car to drive, and if you sell it before warranty ends you should be fine. Longer term though, mmmm…

          • @Dogsrule: The Kadjar is proven reliable - it has been one of the bestselling SUVs in France and the UK. The turbo engine is shared with the Mercedes A-Class, and Renault has long used EDC transmissions. Servicing is capped at around the same cost as RAV4 ($399 annually/30,000km). Paying almost $10K more for a powertrain and batteries that pollute when they are manufactured, at end-of-life, and when they're powered by coal, for 0.8L/100km saving, less agility and less payload, doesn't make a lot of sense to me, even though hybrids are great in the city. Does the RAV4 hybrid actually achieve 5.3L with mostly city driving? The Kadjar achieves just over 6.1 in reviews. With replacement parts, you have Qashqai parts for anything major that needs replacing (unlikely with these non-CVT cars or any Qashqai for that matter), and they're cheap and readily available. As for resale value, if you check on Carsales for other recent Renaults, all of which are reliable, the depreciation really isn't bad, especially if you get a good deal on a new car. They're just great vehicles to drive. You don't get any additional features in the $41K hybrid vs the Intens.

            • @Techie4066: Hmm some common misinformation about Toyota hybrids here. First of all, yes, they really do get amazing city fuel economy - about 4.8L/100km. Combine with some highway driving, you get around the 5.3-5.5L mark.

              The NiMH batteries are fully recyclable and they are actually fully recycled by Toyota as they have significant economic value at EOL. NiMH batteries are cheap and are made of abundant and non toxic materials. The copper and iron in the electric motors is fully recyclable.

              There is no coal fired electricity input into Toyota hybrids - they are fully self charging via Regen braking/excess engine output.

              It is a fact that they last much longer than other vehicles, Renault or not. Their extreme reliability and longevity in Taxi service around the world has proven this.

              European cars are fine in Europe, where dealers, parts and service are cheap and readily available, but in Australia the lack of local support makes things much dicier for long term ownership. Like I said, probably fine in warranty but outside - nah.

            • @Techie4066: Also, the reviews of the Kadjar I’ve been reading on Carsales/Caradvice/Drive/Carsguide have reported real world economy of around 6L/100 on the freeway and 8-9 combined, meaning city consumption of more like 9-10L. That’s getting rather close to double the city fuel consumption of the RAV. My 10 yo 315k Prius is rated at 3.9L/100 and gets 4.3 in the city and 4.5 on the highway. That’s whats great about them, they consistently get very close to their ratings.

              Plus you have to put up the cheap rear torsion beam suspension and horrible low speed DCT behaviour of the Renault. Smooth planetary transaxle and quality multilink trailing arm suspension was wonderful to drive on my test of the Rav.

              • @Dogsrule: Ok, good to hear about the regen braking, but battery production does release toxic gases and other byproducts. You can find numerous articles here. And as I've said, the Kadjar shares parts with the Mercedes A-Class and the Nissan Qashqai, except for all the body panels, bringing costs down. Renault Australia does have an extensive dealership network, and there are specialist Renault mechanics in each capital city. Passenger Renaults from at least the past 5 years are reliable, especially the French-produced vehicles such as the Kadjar. Problem with vehicles from the 2000s were mainly electrical related.

                From Caradvice:

                The outputs of 117kW and 260Nm (at just 1750rpm) are good for the class. By contrast the Qashqai’s naturally aspirated 2.0-litre makes 106kW/200Nm, while the Koleos’ 2.5-litre only offers 126kW/226Nm.

                It’s a sweet little engine, refined and with plenty of low-down pulling power to enable easy overtaking or jaunts up steep hills when laden. It’s even potent enough to elicit mild torque steer on heavy throttle applications. The 9.6-second 0-100km/h sprint time is about two seconds quicker than said Qashqai.

                On the downside, the sophisticated little engine requires 95 RON premium petrol – but on the upside its claimed combined-cycle fuel economy of 6.3L/100km is frugal and its stop-start system is smooth. Given I averaged 7.2L/100km on my launch drive, during which I didn’t spare the car from hard throttle, this is a believable claim.

                The standard transmission is a new wet-dual-clutch automatic with seven speeds. Here’s a piece of trivia: it’s actually very similar to the unit used in the Alpine A110 sports coupe, with a different tune.

                It’s also far more refined and linear than Renault’s old EDC transmissions, responding well to hard throttle applications, and not particularly laggy during stop-start driving or when taking off on steep hills.

                As we mentioned earlier, at its core the Kadjar shares its underpinnings with the Nissan Qashqai thanks to the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The suspension comprises struts at the front, and a simple torsion beam at the rear.

                Note, it can run on 91 unleaded petrol, 95 is the manufacturer's recommendation. In terms of highway consumption, the electric motors in the RAV4 are 150kg of dead weight to haul around, reducing efficiency. The fuel figures all depend on how you drive, for example, my 2014 AWD CX-5 has averaged almost 10L/100km over its lifetime, over 3L above the claim. In the Kadjar, there is a bit of turbo lag, but that brings efficiency and extra performance out of the 1.3L engine.

                There are disadvantages to the more complex suspension used in the RAV4. That combined with the 200kg additional weight of the non-hybrid results in this appalling handling stability result due to poor electronic stability control implementation - a messy pass at 71km/h for the RAV4 and a whiplash effect, earning a poor assessment (turn on captions) compared to a controlled pass at 81km/h for the Kadjar. This is a manoeuvre that a car needs to perform in a predictable manner, and the Kadjar did much better despite its comfort-tuned softer suspension. The poor result could cause a crash into a barrier, similar to this, or a collision with an animal.

                And if you think that the "electric AWD" system used in the hybrid is any good, it's not.. Parking should be easier in the Kadjar as it is 15-16cm shorter while having a marginally smaller boot and the same cabin room - most of the extra length comes down to the larger front wheel overhang, and that is evident in the only 5cm shorter wheelbase in the Kadjar. I reckon the RAV4 styling is too childish and it's too much of a box for my liking. The Kadjar's design is more refined and has a bolder stance. That pretty much covers everything - there's downsides to both vehicles, but the extra $10K for the hybrid isn't worth it in my mind.

                • @Techie4066: This is one of the reviews I read:


                  ‘Claimed fuel economy is 6.3L/100km on the combined cycle, but we saw sub-6.0L/100km on the highway and 8.0L/100km in mixed conditions.’

                  Your google search link about toxic battery production returned articles about Lithium battery production. Toyota’s hybrids except for the Prius V and Prius Plug in are Nickel Metal Hydride as I said (NiMH). Their production is non-toxic.

                  It cannot be argued that Renault has anywhere near the dealer presence and parts support of Toyota, its more likely that Renault will leave Aus than stay - they’ve only sold 4300 cars this year vs Toyota’s 138,000. They may be reliable for a euro, but they simply don’t have the proven durability and reliability of the 15 million+ hybrids that Toyota have sold over the past 23 years, many of them engaged in hard taxi use. They’re simply in different leagues.

                  As for poor highway fuel consumption, well that’s another common misconception. The hybrid engines use the Atkinson Cycle which makes them more efficient than regular Otto cycle engines - expect to see only about 0.5L/100 higher fuel use on the highway vs city as a result. Not bad if you’re getting high 4s in the city. The one thing they don’t do well is towing - much better to get a diesel for that.

                  I’ll agree with you about that initial ‘moose test’, it was pretty bad, but they’ve since fixed it:


                  That roller test is ridiculous, an actual offroad test is what matters:


                  Its not a serious offroader (what medium family SUV is?) but will tackle anything its target market will throw at it.

                  The Renault may well be better packaged, would have to get in one to compare.

                  As for styling - well I cannot for the life of me understand what you see in the Renault. The dorky wedge-like snout? The bulbous inflated balloon look of the rear? The child bearing hips of the rear sides? We may have to agree to disagree about our styling preferences, I don’t think we’ll ever see eye to eye there.

                  The ~$8500 saving is very attractive i’ll admit, but the RAV4 is imo the technically superior vehicle and a much better long term proposition. Anyway, I’m quite sure we haven’t helped the OP in the slightest with our off-topic ranting, and I’m also quite sure both of our viewpoints have not changed in the slightest, you’ll drive your Renault and i’ll drive my Toyota and never the twain shall meet….

  • Id go for a Corolla, Mazda 2 or Mazda 3 since you are on P plates, used would be a good option because if you do crash it, I wouldnt feel as bad.

  • Absolutely what knightslay2 said.

    I got my P licence in my mid 20s and was scared about driving. You are going to end up getting scratches and bumps on your first car.


    Get a corolla or mazda 3, second hand and probably around the $10-15k mark. Small SUV is also a good option.

    • I don't see why not if you drive safely all the time and park properly.

      • +3 votes

        When you're on your Ps you don't have a lot of experience, it is highly likely that you will get some bumps and scrapes, especially when parking in tight spaces.

        Not a lot of love lost on a second hand car if it gets some bumps here and there.

        Insurance would be higher as well.

        At the end of the day, it's the buyer's choice.

        • Sure you don't have a lot of experience, but I know some new drivers behave very safely and treat their cars well. In your early thirties, the risk is reduced as well. Even if it was a second-hand car, you'd want to make the most of it and the resale value.

    • how did you get most of those scratches from, were they on road incidents or while parking?

      • What cars are on your shortlist now?

        • I’m not too far off from what everyone is suggesting. Looking at Mazda 3 or Corolla and similar cars.
          If bigger then cx5 or similar.

          • @Ashfield: Alright, again I'd recommend the Kadjar. Use this link and then select your location. It sits just below the CX-5 in size. I've had a CX-5 since 2014 and not too happy with the Mazda service and the interior durability.

            Remember to bargain hard with dealerships.

      • Mostly parking, someone keyed the car once during the night.

      • Scratches from low speed scraps on carport posts, hedges, walls etc. Some new drivers underestimate the size of the vehicle and do light damage until they get experience. You may not have this problem, but I guess many are suggesting a cheaper car as a precaution. Also, a more expensive car will have higher premiums, certainly as you don't have a driving history and insurance companies will see you as a higher risk and charge insurance premiums accordingly.

        Perhaps of the cars you are looking at, get some quotes from the major insurance companies and see how much comprehensive insurance will be for you as it is an ongoing expense of owning a car.

        Of course if you buy a cheap camry or whatever, you can just get third party property, or third party fire and theft and save money on premiums.

  • Get something <20k because insurance is going to take the rest anyway

  • Oh come on. At least think of something believable.

  • Another day another troll post.

  • hi guys, i want to bake a cake, ive never baked a cake before. i have a reasonable budget of $17,000 for a cake mixer. im looking for one thats average.



    • Are you right? Someone has the money to spend, let them spend it and get good value at the price point they can meet. If the car exceeds their needs, then good for them. If you had saved up into your early thirties, I'm sure you could afford the same.

        • Make your own thread then if you can afford it. Someone doesn't know a lot about cars and just wants some help here. And lucky for them, there's some great options in the $20K-30K range. Have you considered that they may not have known that?

          • @Techie4066: I dont need to make a thread as i own several vehicles, made up the decisions on my own and dont need to brag about how much i spent on them.

            Asking a stupid, general question like what car should i buy is just attention seeking. its like asking what should i eat for dinner: there are so many options and everyone is so unique that only you know what you need. same goes for cars: some people need a family car, some only need a 2 seater. bragging about wanting to spend $50k on a car is just that, bragging. seems to be the norm here recently.

            • @DiscoJango: It's attention-seeking if you see it that way, but in no way does that reflect on their intentions, which may be completely different. Would you brush off someone speaking to you in real life, who is uninformed about cars, stating their budget is $50K? Please. It's good that they are seeking assistance from many people.

  • Start with a used toyota/mazda/hyundai/kia hatchback under 20k. drive it for 2 years and then consider a new one so that you have enough driving experience.

    Denting or scratching a new car out of the showroom hurts a lot.

    These SUVs are beautiful and very reliable since it's a Lexus. 5 stars ANCAP rating. It's also slightly smaller than a standard SUV, good for inexperienced drivers.