When you\u2019re heading out onto the road for the first time, your car-buying priorities may be vastly different from those of an experienced motorist. With no experience upon which to base your decision, you\u2019ll have to rely on general rules of thumb to determine what will make your time on the road more enjoyable. Most new drivers look to the second-hand market when they\u2019re looking for a first car. This helps to limit costs and avoid the pain of short-term depreciation. So, what exactly should you be looking for when shopping for the first car in this market? Mileage The number of miles that a car has done will provide a very rough picture of its history and provide an indication of its value. Of course, it\u2019s not the be-all-and-end-all; in many cases, you\u2019d rather own a car that\u2019s been driven a long distance cautiously than a short one recklessly. MOT History A clearer picture of the car\u2019s condition might be gleaned from its MOT history. You can look this up via the government website. If the mileage doesn\u2019t match the records, then you should be suspicious. Practicality Smaller cars tend to be more forgiving for new drivers, especially those who aren\u2019t yet used to reverse parking on a regular basis. Additional features like rear parking sensors may make life easier, but not having to rely on them will probably make you a better driver in the long-term. Smaller models like the Vauxhall Corsa tend to be preferred to larger ones like the Astra, though some first-time drivers might actually need the extra space. Test Drive and Visual Inspection There\u2019s no substitute for examining the car in the flesh. Check that wipers, lights, washers, and seat belts are all working, and inspect the exterior for signs of damage that might affect the car\u2019s value. You should also ask to take the vehicle for a test drive. If you encounter any resistance here, it\u2019s a sign that the owner of the vehicle has something to hide. Test the clutch, the brakes, and pay attention to see whether the wheel is vibrating excessively. Insurance For new drivers, the cost of insurance will be greater. This is especially so if you\u2019re still a teenager, as this age group is statistically more prone to being in collisions. Look for a car that\u2019ll limit your insurance premium. Generally, this means less power and greater reliability \u2013 which might mean going for something nearly-new rather than something ancient and creaking.