Buying your first car, whether it is new or used, is always an exciting purchase. Obtaining the freedom associated with owning your own vehicle is something most of us look forward to years before we ever receive our license to drive.
Though your first car may induce a level of excitement you simply cannot handle, you should make sure to keep your wits about you while you’re shopping. Here are a few vital tips to remember while you look for your first car. Take your time, and remember this is a huge investment.
Figure out what you can really afford
Before you ever try to apply for the first loan or test drive the first car, you need to make sure your financial “ducks” are in a row. Figure out what you can truly afford to spend on a vehicle, and get a grasp on your credit report.
There should be no surprises when you go to purchase your first car. You also need time to save up a respectable down payment for the bank. For a vehicle, it is best to save up at least 10-15 percent of the cost for a down payment.
Figure out what you really need
Don’t go out and buy the first car that tickles your fancy. A hot looking car doesn’t necessarily make the best everyday driver. Take the time to really assess what sort of vehicle you need in your life.
If you are a sporty, active person, you’ll want a vehicle that can handle any situation your activity may present. If you are a mother of two, you may need to purchase a vehicle based on safety ratings and space.
Shop around for a workable deal
Before you ever go out and test drive a vehicle, you should do your homework. Figure out reasonable pricing for the sort of vehicle you want, and shop around online for a car you can afford.
Test drive and get an inspection
Once you find a deal you believe fits your needs, check the vehicle out in person. Test driving a possible purchase is important. Reading about a vehicle is much different than feeling it pulse beneath your fingertips.
Also, any vehicle you may consider purchasing will need to be thoroughly inspected by a trusted mechanic. Most dealerships will allow you time to take the car to your mechanic and have it checked. Don’t buy a car that doesn’t get the green light from someone who knows about vehicles.
Close the deal and drive away
Once everything checks out on the vehicle you choose, there is only one thing left to do. Buy the vehicle. Close the deal, and drive away knowing that you’ll have years to enjoy the fruits of your labor.