Buying a first car is both exciting and intense. It’s a big expense to take on. There are tens of thousands of cars out there waiting for you and thousands of different models. Getting a car that fits your budget and does everything you need it to do can be tricky, so here are some tips for purchasing the perfect first vehicle.
Most first-time buyers cannot purchase a new car outright with cash. This leaves financing or leasing as the main options. Leasing will get you a nicer car for the same monthly outlay, but the vehicle will ultimately not belong to you. To decide on financing, write down how much you’ll be able to afford on the repayments, and don’t forget the other costs you’ll be taking on with your car purchase – gas, maintenance, and insurance. This helps you arrive at an idea of how much you can afford to spend on a car.
2. Choose your Payment Method
Besides any monthly payment, you’ll need to consider the initial down payment. If you are on a low income, you may need to pay a higher down payment to afford the car you want. The higher the percentage you pay upfront, the less interest you’ll need to pay throughout your auto loan. Financing can come from your bank through a car loan or in-house from a car dealership. Other financing options exist, but keep an eye on the percentage rate you’ll pay and the loan terms.
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3. Identify the Purpose of the Car
It’s tempting to consider buying that Fire Red two-seater V8 sports car, but like everyone else, first-time car buyers should feel what they’ll be using it for. How many passengers will you normally need to carry? Do you have pets? How much garage or parking space can you spare? Do you often want to listen to music in your car or make calls using Bluetooth? Will you be commuting every day? Will you be driving the car in snowy weather or on uneven roads? All these questions make a big difference to the type of car you should aim for.
4. Find several Models That Fit Your Needs
Now that you know what you need, find several models to perform these duties. You’ll probably have many options, so narrow these down to three or four models that fit the bill. Then, you can compare them side-by-side on the most important features to see which car is ultimately the best option. If you can narrow it down to one popular model, it makes searching for the new or used car for sale in your area all the easier.
5. Research Cost of Ownership
Remember that a car’s cost only begins when you drive it off the lot; there are considerations like gas and maintenance. Do some sums on fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs before getting your heart set on a particular model. An old SUV may initially seem like a steal, for example, until you factor in its poor gas mileage and increased likelihood of required repairs and ongoing maintenance.
6. Choose Between a Dealership or Private Purchase
Private purchase is a bit of a minefield; for first-time buyers, it’s generally recommended to go to a. You’ll get cars that have been thoroughly checked, and usually, you’ll get a limited warranty even if you are purchasing a pre-owned model. The difference in price between a private purchase and a good dealership is now negligible, and you’ll often be able to get more favorable financing terms if you buy through a trusted dealer.
7. Research the Going Market Rates
Do some reseResearchu should be expected to pay for the car you’ve decided upon. Prices of vehicles fluctuate, but having a ballpark figure of how much the car is going for on the market stands you in good stead for any price negotiation.
8. Take a Test Drive
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a single car, take a test drive! Take a knowledgeable mechanic with you who can point out any possible issues, but concentrate on how the car feels for you. It’s better to choose another model now if the car feels too ungainly, for example, instead of trying to sell it in a year.