Buying your first car is exciting! Now, all that hard work you’ve put in for quite some time is finally paying off as you’re already getting yourself your very own vehicle. But, along with this excitement will come so much confusion. Once you head out to shop, if you aren’t well-prepared, you’ll be bombarded with so many choices! The most challenging part might be how you’re going to shortlist prospective cars, which you think could be the right fir for your needs.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure that you’d be choosing the right and best one:
1. Stick Within Your Budget
Cars are expensive, that’s for sure. But, there’s a car for every budget. From the cheapest to the most expensive ones in the spectrum, there’s just a wide variety of cars now up for sale. You can also narrow down your options based on whether or not you want to buy a brand new or a preloved automobile.
It’s very important to stick within your budget. Don’t choose one that’s too expensive. Don’t just focus on the price, but also the maintenance the car entails. Remember that your financial expense as a car owner doesn’t just end on the payment of the purchase price per se. You’ll also be paying for maintenance, repairs, registration, and insurance.
Factor in, too, the cost to run the car per mile or kilometer, which is known as fuel efficiency. Now that you have a car, another fixed expense added to your monthly budget will be the fuel. This must be something that’ll also fit comfortably in your budget.
2. Take Time To Shop Around
Second, be sure to shop around as much as possible during the car buying process. You can either check out websites such as Clutch, or, if you have the time, visit physical stores. Look at more than just the cost of a vehicle. Also, consider financing, dealership reputation, and even other car models apart from your first choice.
Shopping around can help ensure that you’re going for a good buy. Particularly if you’re leaning towards buying a used car, you may find other dealers that are selling the one you’re looking for at a lesser price. Comparing your options can also lead you to a car dealership that you can trust. Note that this is very important as you’ll be going back and forth your dealership for maintenance and repairs. It pays to be with an establishment you can trust.
As you shop around, you may even find better cars that you never thought to be within your reach, budget-wise. Perhaps, they have more features that can come in useful and handy to you, or which you’d simply like to have in a car. Don’t rush buying the first option you find as you might be missing out on better ones.
3. Ask About Add-Ons
Decide what extras you would like when buying a vehicle. Before you even visit a dealership, think about these add-ons already. That way, you can be upfront about them with every dealer you meet. Some may have these available, while others don’t. Some offer a better price, while others may not be so practical.
For example, you might want to add-ons, such as roadside assistance, extended warranties, and even added physical features, like a roof rack, for instance. These can raise the total purchase price of the car. But, if you’re lucky, there are some dealers that are generous with their freebies and their special offers.
The more you ask around, the more you’ll find. This is precisely why you shouldn’t rush the process so you can end up with the best deal.
4. Check The Financing Options
Depending on how much money you’ve now saved up for your car, there are typically two ways to go about this purchase. One is to pay in cash, full, while the other, which is the more common route, is to just pay the down payment and then take out a car loan.
The car dealership should be very helpful if you have any questions about these. But, if you intend to take out a car loan, it’s highly recommended to have this ready even before you meet with a car dealership. This means taking time to visit credit companies to compare prices, as well as to determine which has the best monthly rate and the lower interest.
Ask questions about financing, payment plans, and any programs offered. At the end of the day, it’s very important that you get a loan that suits your needs. You don’t want to be burdened by a loan that’s causing a big hole in your monthly budget.
5. Ask For A Test Drive
Drive around before you buy. There’s no better way to have a feel of whether or not the car is the right one for you than to take it out on a test drive. Take a friend with you. Make notes about the car and see how it feels. If you’re the one who’ll be driving the car most of the time, it’s very important to check the comfort level.
If you’re buying a used car, you may also want to bring with you a mechanic during the test drive. This mechanic can give you the most honest advice regarding any possible red flags the car may have.
These methods will help you narrow down your options, so you don’t end up with one that turns lemon.
If you follow the above tips when buying your first car, you can become a better and a more responsible customer. These are important to have in mind as you don’t want to end up paying way more than what you can afford. Because this is your first car, you’ll also want to make sure it ends up useful and functional for you, for so many more years to come. That way, you can say with confidence that your car was a very good buy and a practical purchase.