First Time Buying a Car? These Guidelines Will Definitely Help You - Alvinology

First Time Buying a Car? These Guidelines Will Definitely Help You

Buying your first car can be an exciting time filled with wonder and the sensation that maybe, you’re finally an adult. It can also be a period of major stress and lots of mistakes. To help reduce the risk of error, the following will explore a few basic guidelines you’re going to want to follow to help you find the right car for you and your situation. 

Understand Your Budget

When trying to figure out what you can afford, there are several factors you want to consider. Foremost, you almost never want to be making car payments. Since cars lose value rapidly (excluding collectible items or limited makes like Lamborghini), you’re going to be paying more than the car is worth several times over when you take a payment plan. Car payments are almost always a bad financial decision. If you’re unhappy with the cars you can afford (used vehicles can be bought for $1000 or $2000), get the cheaper car now and save up the money you’d be paying in car payments over the months until you can afford an upgrade. This will save you a ton when it comes it insurance.

Understand Your Needs

When you’re shopping for a car, you’re going to have needs that are unique to you and your family. It’s a good idea to prioritize these needs so that you have a short list of non-negotiables. Possible needs include:

  • A vehicle with the capacity to tow
  • A vehicle with lots of cargo space
  • A vehicle that can fit in teeny city parking spaces
  • A vehicle that can fit your whole family inside
  • A vehicle that can handle off-roading or rougher terrain like dirt roads
  • A vehicle that has good fuel economy
  • A vehicle that can carry heavy cargo
  • A vehicle that is easy to climb in and out of
  • A vehicle that is safe
  • A vehicle that is better for the environment than others (don’t assume electric is automatically better; do some research on electric car batteries and how those are disposed of before you jump on that bandwagon; most cars are bad for the environment, they’re simply bad in different ways)

You’re not going to be able to find a vehicle that meets all of these needs, so you have to prioritize. Once you have a short list of two to three requirements, you can begin your shopping.

Speak To Professionals

If you’re looking into buying a specialty car, it’s a good idea to speak to professionals who know about that type of car if you’re not familiar with its characteristics. The Beverly Hills Car Club in LA points out that clubs can present you with a wide range of inventory within your particular interest. Professionals and clubs can also give you tips and directions. If you’re looking to buy a classic car, but have never driven one, then you might not be aware of how much harder they are to handle than more recent cars. If you’re looking for a vehicle that can handle heavy-duty work like pulling your boat or trailer, you want to talk to people who have done this task and are aware of the common pitfalls you might encounter. 

Get Ready For Haggling

While most aspects of modern-day shopping in the west avoid haggling, it seems that for the most important items (like your home and your car), this is quite normal. If you don’t have experience with haggling, this can turn into an absolute nightmare. Take the time to prepare yourself for the haggling and have a firm limit on what you’re going to spend before walking in.

Ask around; you might have a friend or family member who loves haggling and will happily debate a car salesman to help you get an ideal price. It’s not uncommon for people to end up spending more than the sticker price for a vehicle, particularly if the vehicle is new. You need to watch the tiny details as well. Oftentimes, when you get a good deal in the midst of a car haggling endeavor, dealerships are able to put the money you think you’re saving somewhere on the backside.  

First Time Buying a Car? These Guidelines Will Definitely Help You - Alvinology

Have An Inspection

If the vehicle isn’t new, you’ll want to have a mechanic give the car a look. An inspection can help you catch any problems that could end up costing you money. Problems aren’t necessarily going to mean you shouldn’t buy the car, but they should change the price you’re going to pay for it. If you need to pay a mechanic $300 to fix something, the listed price should come down by at least $300.

Look At The Vehicle’s Recall History

Believe it or not, over 80 million cars are on the road with open recalls on them. That’s around 1 in 4 cars. Of course, people still try to sell those cars without addressing the recall. Check the National Highway Traffic Administration for your vehicle’s recall history to figure out if there’s a recall on the car you’re considering buying.

Get An Insurance Quote

Reach out to your insurance provider to get a quote on insurance. Different factors like a car’s age and its target demographic influence how much your insurance rate will be. Often a used car is cheaper to insure than a new car. It’s important to understand how much a particular vehicle is going to cost you in addition to the upfront purchase price and insurance is a big component of that.

Test Drive

When you’re considering a vehicle, it’s important that you test drive it. Turn off the radio as you drive so you can hear if there are any noises made by the car. You also want to drive on a route that has things like hills, bumps, and potholes to get an idea of how the car responds to that sort of road. 

The above information should help you find the right car for you and your situation. It’s important to remember that searching for a vehicle might take longer than you hoped. Similar to shopping for a home, if you let impatience dictate your hunt, there’s a much higher chance you’re going to end up with something that isn’t ideal for you or costs more than it needs to.

Leave a Reply

Related Posts