How To Buy Your First Car
Long considered a rite of passage for American youth, buying your first car can be an exciting experience. Of course, exciting can be construed a couple of different ways— both good and bad. Still, you’ll feel a lot better if you employ these tips on how to buy your first car, regardless of your initial attitude.
Get Your Money Straight
Owning a car can be more costly than it appears at first glance. You’ll pay for fuel, registration and maintenance items like tires and wiper blades. Before you charge off to start test-driving cars, take some time to get an idea of how much you can afford to spend for your car each month. This means you’ll have to create a monthly spending plan, based upon your current income, so you can know how much you’ll have left over to apportion to your automobile.
Figure Out What You Need
Your lifestyle will determine the type of vehicle you should purchase. If you’re into outdoor sports and plan to haul around a lot of equipment, you’ll be served best by a wagon or an SUV. If you’re caring for an elderly relative, you’ll need to consider how easy getting in and out of the car will be. Space for car seats and etc. will be needed if you have children. Basically, you need to ask yourself what’s your circumstance and which car will be the best fit?
Do Your Homework
Once you have an idea of your needs and what you can afford to pay, you can look around on the ‘net to get an idea of what’s available to fill your requirements while meeting your budget. Sites like Automobiles Illustrated, Edmunds.com and KBB.com are bristling with data to help you make an informed decision. While researching, take note of what the models sell for in your area, so you’ll recognize a good deal when you see one.
Find the Money
If you’re buying a new car, odds are you’ll be financing it. This means you’ll need to save up a down payment to keep the interest rate as low as possible. If this will be your first experience with financing, you’ll need to shop the best no credit car loans to find one most suited to your needs and your budget. Get pre-approved for financing before you visit a dealership.
Go Drive Some Cars
The point of your online research is to narrow the field to three or four final contenders. Choose a Wednesday in the middle of the month to take off work and spend the entire day test driving cars back to back to back to back. This lets you compare them while each of the others is fresh in your mind. One will stand out over the others at the end of that exercise.
Negotiate Your Deal
Thanks to your preliminary research, you’ll know about what the auto should cost. When you’re working out your deal with the salesperson, negotiate based on the total price of the car rather than the monthly payment. You’ll already have a loan in hand, so the payment they can get for you is irrelevant. What matters most is the price.
By the way, once you’ve settled on a price, you can always let the dealership try to beat the financing deal you already have. Just make sure theirs has the same purchase price, down payment, interest rate and term length as the one you have. That way, you’re comparing like to like.
That’s all there is to it.
Buying your first car will be far less nerve-wracking if you follow these steps. You’ll feel more in control of the proceedings and you’ll get exactly what you need.