First-time car buyer? Here’s what you need to know

Buying your first car is a major moment and perhaps one of the biggest investments that you are going to make throughout your life. It can be stressful and confusing because it involves a lot of planning and budgeting. How do you narrow down your choices? What can you afford? And what are the best things to consider when choosing a vehicle? Whether you have saved up for it for a long time or taken out a loan to finance it, you have to make sure that you make a wise investment that will bring you long-term benefits. To help you make the right choice, read below this first car buying guide to make sure you get the car of your dreams.

Budget carefully

Prior to visiting any dealership, it always makes sense to set a hard budget and stick to it to avoid the temptation of spending more than you can actually afford. On the other hand, keep in mind that it is a long-term investment so spending too little might actually turn out to be a bad investment if you choose a smaller price over quality. Don’t just budget for the cost of the purchase because there are also all the running costs that you simply can’t avoid such as car insurance, road tax, tires, and obviously, fuel.

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Know what you are buying for

Knowing what you are buying your car for is perhaps the most important step of your car buying journey if you don’t want to be disappointed with your choice. It may happen that you fall in love on spot with the trendiest sports car you see at a dealership. But do you really a sports car? If you are buying a family car, the answer is probably no. You need to buy a spacious vehicle that can fit all of you and offer safety to your family. Also, if you are buying your car to use it as commute transportation every day, it is wise to know its fuel consumption rather than focusing on how it looks like. Keep in mind that buying a vehicle is a long-term investment, thus it should match your needs and requirements on the long-term.

Decide between buying new or old

Sitting inside of a brand-new car and breathing that intoxicating new-car smell is perhaps good enough to convince even the most prudent spenders that paying a higher price for a vehicle is a good idea. But is it really wise for your budget? Buying a new car comes with a multitude of benefits such as extended warranties, an empty past history report, and the allure of owning a brand-new car. Yet, it can also cost you a fortune and you are losing money as soon as you drive it off the lot because new cars take bigger depreciation in the first two or three years.

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On the other hand, buying a used vehicle can save you big bucks in several ways because it has lower insurance costs and having a significantly smaller price can help you afford to pay for it in cash. Whether you chose to buy a brand-new car or a pre-owned version, it comes down to your personal preference and your financial situation.

Look at car histories

If you have decided to buy a pre-owned version of your dream car, there is little research that you must do before buying it to ensure that you are buying quality. You should start by searching for customer reviews so you can avoid having a bad experience with the dealership that you have selected. Next, you should start digging deeper and use services such as to get all the vital information about the car you are planning to buy. You will get information such as manufacturer, year of production, type of engine, model, ownership history, and accident history to see if the vehicle you are considering is a reliable one.

Negotiate like pros do

You can and should negotiate when buying a car regardless of whether you are buying at a dealership or from an individual. When you are in the market for a used car, getting the best deal is all about confidence. Looking like you have no idea what you are doing can hinder your success because the owner or the dealer will definitely try to get the highest price possible from you. The very first thing you must keep in mind as a buyer is that you are in control because you hold the money. You must be fully aware of the price range for the car that you are looking for and it is always better to be prepared to show the seller that you are not willing to pay more than the vehicle is worth.  Many dealers will try to convince you thatthey are offering you the best deal but you shouldn’t fall for it and use the prices of their competitors as an advantage to negotiate. Most sellers are ready to get rid of their cars as soon as possible so they will likely come down on their first asking price.

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Test-drive the car

If you believe that you have found your dream car that fits your budget and your needs, it is time to take it for a test drive. If the owner or the dealer doesn’t want you to take the car for a ride, you should better walk away because they are definitely trying to hide a problem. otherwise, hop in and take it for a drive to test its performance and quality. As you drive remember to test the brakes, steering wheel vibrations, smooth gear shifts, and high-speed driving.

Buying your first car can be quite adventurous if you don’t know where to start. But you need to temper excitement with practicability, be patient and do your research carefully before deciding which vehicle you will buy.

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