The Motor Ombudsman has launched a new online guide, “#JustPassed”, to make car buying and servicing easier for new drivers.

The handy, one-stop point of reference can now be downloaded from TheMotorOmbudsman.org.

A YouGov poll of more than 1,500 licence holders commissioned by The Motor Ombudsman found that 54% of respondents had very limited or no knowledge at all when choosing which garage to buy their first car from. Similarly, 53% didn’t know where to get their vehicle serviced when they first started driving.

Around one in two were unable to determine the criteria on which to base their opinion of the garage, with over half saying they were unsure which business offered the best value for the money they had to spend.

Nearly two thirds of the drivers who were able to come to a decision about where to buy their car, or where to have it maintained, did so thanks to word of mouth recommendations from friends and family (61% and 63% respectively). Close to a third simply visited the garage that was nearest to them, while a quarter used online customer reviews and ratings.

Of the individuals questioned, 47% said the price of the car and 33% said affordability were key influences on their choice of model. A vehicle that was the right size for their needs was important for 24% of respondents.

“A large proportion of new drivers are having to make big financial decisions without the right information in front of them, specifically when it comes to what make and model to get, as well as where to buy the car and have it serviced,” Chief Ombudsman Bill Fennell said. “To help plug this gap, we have created a simple easy-to-use guide and a handy checklist to help consumers ask the right questions.”