Buying your first car can be a challenge for anyone. You might have an idea of what you want, but it’s important to perform some research and follow these tips.
The first time you do anything, you can’t expect to be an expert or be good at it. Car buying is certainly one of the activities that take some practice before you get it right. Instead of heading to the dealership blind and coming home with a heart full of regrets, use some of the tips offered by experienced shoppers to help get the best deal.
1. Stick to Your budget
Among the car buying tips, this can be the most difficult for many shoppers. You already know what you want to buy, but do the payments fit in your budget? If not, then you need to find a different vehicle. Remember, you don’t need to simply consider the price of the car but the cost of insurance, fuel, and maintenance. Are these things you can fit into your budget? If you can, then move forward with the process. If not, find a different vehicle to purchase.
2. What’s Your Credit Score?
If you’re going to ask for a loan to pay for the car you want to drive, you need to know what your credit report contains and what your score is. The better your score is, the less you’ll pay in interest fees for the vehicle you buy. Some locations could ask for larger down payments if you have a less-than-perfect credit score, or they might offer loans with high-interest rates. If you have good credit, you should get the best deal for the car you want to drive. One of the most important things to know when before buying your first car is what you should expect in your car loan based on your credit score.
3. Locate the Right Vehicle for You
You can use online searches to look at vehicles that fit your needs, or you can visit various car lots and take some models out for a test drive. Taking a test drive could actually give you a better idea of what you truly do need in a vehicle and might help you make a more informed choice than if you only shop using online tools.
4. The Right Model
What do you need in the vehicle you drive? Do you need room for other passengers, or do you want to have a vehicle that’s a lot of fun to drive? Are you going off-road, or do you need a large cargo area? Make sure you list all the things you need in a car and choose the right model that fits all your needs. This list is a great guide to buying your first car. Using the list of items can help you avoid a car-buying mistake.
5. Shop Around for the Vehicle you Want
Unless you’re looking for an extremely old and specialized vehicle, you should find several versions of the vehicle you want to buy. You might find similar models with the same mileage priced differently at various dealers. By shopping around, you’re giving yourself an edge when going to the dealerships. You can shop from home on a variety of websites and know what you should pay, how much each location is asking, and the details of the car you’re considering buying.
6. Remember that You’re In Control of the Process
If you sat down with your friends to play poker, you wouldn’t show your hand before you had to. The same is true at the dealership. They might ask if you’re trading a vehicle, have a down payment, or if you’ve got financing lined up. Don’t answer those questions right away. Once you’ve picked out the vehicle you want, negotiate the price, even if the dealer tells you they don’t negotiate. You can force them to do this by threatening to go to another location for the vehicle you want. Even though you’re buying your first car, you should show confidence and be in control of the transaction.
7. Go for a Test Drive
You can do something fun when buying a car; go for a test drive. Even if you aren’t sure about the vehicle, you can learn a lot from a test drive. Have fun with it but keep emotions out of the mix and find out the flaws of the vehicle. Even new cars have flaws that you can discover during a test drive. Play with all the buttons, check out all the features and learn what the vehicle offers before buying it.
8. Review the Vehicle History Report
All you need is the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to review the history report of a vehicle. You can see if the car was maintained properly, was in an accident, or was even totaled and is now being sold again. This is all important information that gives you a good idea of whether or not you should choose to buy the car. When buying your first car, you want the experience to be a good one. A clean Vehicle History Report helps this happen.
9. Avoid the Add-Ons at the Dealership
Do you need an extended warranty? Is it important that you have the special smell in the car? These items are add-ons that some dealers try and sell you. The extras that dealers offer are marked up enormously, giving the dealer a healthy profit margin and making you pay extra during the life of your loan. That extra $20.00 per month on your loan amounts to quite a bit over time. Is the extra item worth the cost? Probably not.
10. Negotiate the Right Price
Used cars are offered with the ability to have the price negotiated. Ask for some money off the vehicle you want to drive and see what a fair price is going to be for you to pay for the vehicle that you want to drive. Once you come to an agreement on a price you and the seller should both feel that you’ve gotten a good deal when buying your first car.
Now that you’ve figured out which used car you want to buy, and you’ve gone through all the processes, you can close the deal. It’s time to enjoy your car and begin driving. You’ve successfully finished the process of buying your first car and can drive away proud of yourself.
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