Buying your first car? Congratulations! This is a great way to gain more independence, and a big first step on the road to adulthood. But there are a few things you need to know before you buy your first car. Ready? Let’s get started:
Set a budget
One of the hardest parts of buying your first car? Reconciling your dream car with the reality of how much it costs. Cars are expensive, and they’re not an asset- they depreciate the minute you drive them off the lot. There are also many fees to consider at the time of purchase, along with recurring costs like gas, parking, general maintenance, and car insurance.
The first step is to set a realistic budget. It’s no fun having a car if you can’t afford to actually go anywhere in that car. Once you know your budget, you can begin looking for cars that are actually in your price range. If you find you can’t quite afford the car you really want, you can either keep saving or consider purchasing an older model year instead.
Get expert advice
Buying your first car can be an overwhelming experience. For this reason, it’s a good idea to get advice from someone who has bought a few cars in their lifetime or is knowledgeable about the industry. If you have a friend or family member, consider taking them along with you when you’re looking at potential cars. Another good idea? Find a good local dealership that has a great reputation and dealers that are willing to help you find the best car for your budget.
Consider financing and Down Payments
You’ll need to determine how much cash you’ll be putting down when you buy your first car, and how much you can afford to pay each month if you’re going to get a loan. Generally, the larger the payment you put down, the better your interest rate will be. Consider your plans for the next few years- are you in a job you enjoy or would you like to find something new at some stage? Could you afford your car repayments if you were to take a pay cut?
New or Used?
One way to get closer to your dream car? Take a look at used cars. Older cars with low mileage can be a great deal, although you’ll need to do a little research since these gems can be more difficult to find. Another benefit of choosing to buy used? If you haven’t been driving long, the car will already have a few dents and dings. If you happen to add a dent or two while you become more experienced, this will be less upsetting compared to if you were driving an expensive, brand new car.