Tips on Buying Your First Car

 

For many people, buying a car is the single biggest expense they’ll ever make. Making sure it’s the right one is therefore very important. It’s bound to be exciting, but there are lots of things you need to think about. Planning ahead is going to make the process less painful. Turning up at a car dealership hoping your dream car will be there waiting on the lot is wishful thinking. As well as considering the make and model you want, there are some other important questions you need to ask yourself. Answer them honestly, and your choice will be easier.

What is Your Budget?

Deciding on your budget is the first step to make. There’s nothing wrong with being flexible. However, there has to be a maximum price you must stick to. When working out your budget, include everything that’s involved in buying a car. There are going to be additional costs for getting and keeping a car on the road, for example, insurance. Factor the cost of ongoing maintenance and repair as well as the long-term cost of fuel into your calculations. Manual cars are cheaper to repair than an automatic. The size of the car will also be important if you’ve got a family.  

Weigh Up Needs vs. Wants Carefully

We may all have a dream car, but they’re not always practical, which is why you have to consider your needs before your wants. Do you want a vehicle that has outstanding gas mileage because you’ve got a long daily commute? Do you live in the mountains and need a vehicle with four-wheel drive? Are you planning to extend your family in the future so need a car that seats at least four? To help you come to the right decision, make a must-have and nice-to-have list.

Consider the Cost of Insurance

It might seem an obvious thing to mention, but don’t forget to find out about the cost of insurance. Speak to various insurance companies and ask for a quote. You can get a ballpark figure by giving the provider the make, model, and year of your intended purchase. For a more accurate figure, you’ll need to provide the VIN number. When comparing quotes make sure you look closely at the details. Some policies will cover the cost of replacement windshield auto glass while others will not.

What to Check When Buying Previously Owned

Your first car is not likely to be a new car fresh from a car dealership. When you’re buying a pre-owned car, there are certain things you need to check. Ask for a service history of the vehicle and how it has been looked after. If a car has had lots of owners and the mileage is high, you can be pretty certain it has had a hard life. One owner and low mileage will be more attractive. Give the vehicle a thorough inspection and look for imperfections or damage. If you’ve got a friend with more experience at inspecting used cars, take them along with you.

Always take a car for a test drive before you hand over your dollars. It might look like the perfect vehicle on paper, and under the hood it’s impressive. The real test is out on the road. See how you feel driving it as well as how it performs.

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