Buying your first car is a unique experience. Make sure you make it a happy one!
While buying a car at any time in your life is a major purchase that should be made thoughtfully, the process requires additional due diligence and finesse when you’re purchasing your very first car. The whole process of buying your first car should be exciting; you don’t want to feel pressured, confused, or regretful in your selection. Following these four simple tips will help ensure the first car you buy will be a decision with which you are happy!
While there will always be lots of distinctly diverse and sharp new and used vehicles for sale, not all of them will meet your particular needs. Before you select your first car, first identify how you plan to use it. Perhaps you want to buy your first vehicle because you just landed a job that requires extensive travel, so you’ll need a dependable vehicle that can handle lots of miles. Maybe you need a reliable car for university. Possibly you’ve been saving up for your first vehicle and now you are ready to make that investment and you simply want a car to get you around town without having to walk, take public transportation, or count on others to drive you. Whatever your reasons for buying your first car, take them into consideration so that the vehicle you choose will meet your needs. You won’t need that sleek, gas-guzzling truck if you’re planning to save on fuel expenses. You won’t feel comfortable in a tiny little two-seater if you want to include your dog and your friends on your road trips. Decide before you search how you plan to enjoy your vehicle most of the time!
Identify “Must Haves”
Whether your “must haves” include exceptional fuel efficiency and a sunroof, or include a state-of-the-art navigation system, and lots of storage space, decide ahead of time what you absolutely want in your first vehicle. This way, when you start shopping you won’t be distracted by all the bells and whistles you don’t really need or want. Just because the dealership happens to have your dream car ~ minus the sunroof ~ on their lot today doesn’t mean you should buy that car today; select the car you want with the features you want. If you stick to your list, you won’t have regrets for compromising when you get your car home.
Calculate your monthly expenses, including rent, utilities, entertainment, food, and/or any other categories that may apply to you. Then figure out how much you can afford to pay for a vehicle each month; this amount not only encompasses the actual payment to the finance company, but also your car’s fuel, oil changes, unexpected repairs, and regular maintenance upkeep for your vehicle. If you don’t identify your budget before you shop for your first car, you can easily fall into the mistake of choosing a vehicle out of your budget; if this happens, you’ll find yourself struggling to make ends meet and having to give up other things in life you enjoy simply to make that monthly payment.
There’s a big difference between purchasing your first car from a private seller and an established auto dealer. The risks involved in buying directly from the previous car owner are high. A reputable auto dealership will offer you warranties, have a service department to take your vehicle to for routine maintenance, and will be a “go to” place should you have any questions or concerns. If you buy your first vehicle from a stranger on the street, there’s no guarantee of anything once you drive away.