Buying your first car is an exciting and thrilling experience. You get to dream about driving the vehicle you’ve always wanted.
But the reality is a little different. It can be intimidating, nerve-shredding and, without question, a lifelong experience.
But a few essential tips can help make the journey a lot easier. This guide delivers some nuggets of wisdom that can help to buy your first car a breeze.
Five Tips for Buying Your First Car
1) Establish a Realistic Budget
Let’s be real here: you aren’t going to buy the flashiest and hottest car out of the parking lot. It’s your first car, which means it needs to be within budget and not put you in debt so early in life.
So you should set a realistic budget that doesn’t break your bank account while ensuring you have enough money to maintain your lifestyle, car payments included. If you can save up for it, great. If you need to take a loan, make sure it’s the minimum amount possible. You want to pay it back easily without harming your credit score.
2) Know Your Monthly Spend
How much you spend on the initial outlay on the vehicle is different from how much you can afford per month. You have to pay for petrol, insurance, and maintenance, and that’s not including the loan or financing if you’re acquired (if you need it).
That’s why you have to crunch the numbers to determine how much the vehicle will set you back per month. According to financial experts from Investopedia, the number to aim for is 10%–15% of your income, meaning that your first car shouldn’t cost more than that range of your income.
3) Prioritize Your Wants & Needs
Everyone has different transportation needs and wants. You’re the same. Remember, this isn’t the car you’ll have for the rest of your life; it’s your first car, so you should expect bumps, scratches and accidents to happen (you’re a new driver, trust us, it will happen!).
So, you have to prioritize what you want and need in a vehicle and how it suits your current transportation situation. Some things to consider include:
- The make, model and manufacturer of the vehicle
- The age of the car
- The kilometres driven
- The condition of the car
- It’s history on the road
- The amount of work required to maintain it
- If it suits your lifestyle
Note down the wants and needs based on these considerations. It can make your search easier.
4) Get Helps When Needed
You’re not alone when it comes to your car search. There are many people and services out there to help you buy a new car for the first time. If you’re stuck and need advice, reach out to the following:
- Family or friends who have experience in buying cars
- Online car blogs and experts (like yours truly!)
- Car buying services to help you with your search (https://carismo.co/)
The more help you ask for, the more you’ll learn, which will help you streamline your car buying experience.
5) Test Drive Every Car
You’re not going to know if you like a car or not if you don’t drive it around. Nothing is more important than how you feel behind the wheel because there are so many factors in play: seat height, wheel adjustment, steering feel, outward visibility, control layout.
Your best course of action is to test drive it on different roads, including inner-city roads, highways and, if possible, rural areas. Try to stop and start the brakes, speeding up and slowing down, and turning the vehicle as often as possible. You should get a good understanding of the vehicle, and its flow.
Do you enjoy driving the vehicle and feel comfortable in it? If not, then it’s not the vehicle for you. If it’s a yes, you might have a winner – so make a bid for it!
We hope that this guide helps you find a new car that’s worth your money! Remember to always search for the best deals possible, and never buy a car unless you are 100% sold on it. Good luck with your search!