Buying Your First Car?
Bringing your first car home always seems like a milestone. The excitement, the curtailing of impulsive behaviour, the research and the eventual decision, it all builds up to a moment that defines your success. Buying cars is for various reasons, but let us not forget the most primary one– to get from point A to point B, in relative comfort. That being said, one must always remember to make a well-informed choice that ticks off all the boxes including fun, practicality, and everything else that matters to you. After all, this car will live with you for a considerable period of time.
15 Tips for Buying Your First car
It doesn’t matter whether you have recently graduated or if with your first real job, the car-buying process for a first time buyer is always filled with a lot of uncertainty and over thinking. There’s a lot to manage. Planning ahead can help make the process easier and help ensure you end up with the best car for you.
Here are some important things to keep in mind as you start shopping for your first car.
1. Understand what you need.
Do you require a car daily to commute to class or job, or only for weekend adventures? Is it snowing, raining, or extremely hot where you live? To begin, consider your lifestyle and the most common driving circumstances you face. Then go ahead and start your research: Learn about various features and choices, as well as how they may affect the price of a car.
2. In that order, set a budget and choose a vehicle
Examine your finances realistically as well. That includes not only the purchase price but also the costs of maintenance, insurance, gas, repairs, and parking for your future car. It’s necessary to review your options after you know how much money you have accessible. You’ll have a greater chance of finding a car that you can afford and matches your demands if you spend some time researching before buying.
3. Explore your options
The Internet connects you to many sellers from all over the world (some of whom may send cars to you for a fee), giving you more options in your price range. You may conduct research and limit down your options by looking at online auto rankings in areas such as safety and vehicle type (such as SUVs, hybrids). When buying a new car, get quotes from several dealers. If you’re looking at used cars, make sure you get a Carfax report, which gives you information about the vehicle’s history, including any accidents.
4. Know your credit score
Check your credit report before you’re ready to buy; your credit score helps determine the interest rate you pay on a car loan. Better credit may result in a lower loan rate, which will impact your overall car-buying budget. Your credit card company may also be able to supply you with your credit score for free.
5. Consider taking out a car loan
It may seem contradictory to browse for a car loan before shopping for a car, but it’s a good idea. For instance, it provides you with an indication of how much you can borrow (and at what interest rate), so you don’t have to make finance selections at the dealership on the spot. Instead, start with your bank or credit union and then shop around for quotations from other lenders to ensure you get the best deal.
6. Take expert opinion
Take a cue from the financing experts, and stop by a local credit union or bank before talking to any salespeople. A loan agent at the credit union can usually offer you better rates, extended warranties, no-nonsense advice about how much you should borrow and how much to put down upfront.
7. Know your numbers
Never tell a salesperson how much you plan to pay each month for your first car. If you do, they may manipulate the cost of a car out of your price range to fit in your budget by adjusting the interest rate, offering you a longer-term loan & restructuring the financing in a way that creates a payment that fits in your budget; instead of offering a monthly amount, stick to the total price.
8. Don’t forget insurance.
Along with the payment, you’ll need to budget for car insurance. Trusted insurance agents can shop around with multiple companies to find the best fit for your vehicle.
9. Avoid impulsive purchase
Conduct thorough research before purchasing the car to avoid impulse purchases. Buying a car on the spur of the moment is a dangerous proposition. You may discover that you can’t afford the car when it’s too late or that its performance falls short of your expectations.
You should be able to find an automobile that you’ll like for many years by researching the brand, model, and style, as well as comparing insurance rates and financing options.
10. At the dealership, don’t buy any add-ons
The dealership will sell you extended warranties, tire protection plans, and paint protection plans called gap insurance. Unfortunately, dealerships make a lot of money on this stuff, it’s often much overpriced, and most people have no idea how to figure out a fair price.
11. Avoid car loans for six or seven years
More than a third of new car loans are now over six years lengthy. In short, this is “a really dangerous trend”: a seven-year loan has cheaper monthly payments than a five-year loan. However, this will result in a significant increase in interest payments.
The interest rates for seven-year loans are frequently higher than those on five-year loans. And, as with other loans, the interest is front-loaded, which means you pay more interest than principal in the first few years.
12. Negotiate well
Don’t ever be bound to give the sticker price! The price is negotiable, unlike most items you’ll buy. Furthermore, because used automobile prices are not tied to the manufacturer’s production expenses, they are usually more flexible. Even if you take the lead in the bargaining, it’s critical to have a parent or other adult there when discussing the price.
13. Take a test drive
Once you’ve identified a few cars that might suit your needs and budget, take them all for a test drive to see how you feel about them and how they perform. Try to test drive all of the vehicles you’re thinking about on the same day so you can easily compare them. It’s a good idea to make appointments ahead of time to help structure your day—and it also allows you to assess the customer service at each dealership.
14. Complete the deal
You’ve done your research, you know what you want, and you’ve secured finance. When it’s time to close the deal, you’ll be in command and able to concentrate on reading your contract thoroughly. Make sure you understand the conditions of any financing or warranty agreements before signing. Set up an automatic bill payment after you’ve driven away to ensure you never miss a car payment and can focus on your next trip.
15. Visit the mechanic when buying a used car
If you’re considering a used car, let your mechanic inspect it to ensure that it’s safe to drive and that it’s the perfect vehicle for you.
Despite everything, if you are clear on what you want and can afford and you’ve thoroughly inspected and tested the car, there’s every chance the transaction will be a success. Now with these few tips, buying your first car will get a little easier than otherwise possible. Most importantly, you know that research and understanding what you want can make at least a few steps in the process easier. So set that budget, do those test drives because your first car awaits you.