Being a first-time car buyer can be a really exciting and positive experience.
Among other things, it means that you are about to be in a position where the world opens up to you in a whole new way. You can visit more places, see more interesting things, become more autonomous, expand your horizons and opportunities in a range of different ways.
At the same time, though, there’s something daunting about visiting your local car dealerships, and looking through the selection of used cars to find something that will work just right for you, and that will be within your price range, as well.
Here are just a handful of useful tips for first-time car buyers.
Bring someone experienced with you to the lot if you can
Unfortunately, it’s far from a rare experience for first-time car buyers – particularly those who don’t know a good deal about cars in general – to end up mistakenly purchasing vehicles that end up breaking down a very short time later in spectacular fashion.
Sometimes this is due to unscrupulous car dealers who knowingly misrepresent, or even actively push vehicles that are essentially not roadworthy.
In other cases, though, at least an equal part of the problem is simply that the buyer in question doesn’t know what to look out for, and therefore selects a car based on largely superficial features, without digging deep and investigating the more substantial stuff.
Wherever possible, it is generally a very good idea to bring someone with experience to the lot if you can, when you are planning to buy your first car.
Get them to give you suggestions, raise questions, and look under the hood.
Pick a car that will fit in properly with your everyday lifestyle
There are all sorts of different things to consider when buying your first car, but it’s important to not just get distracted by the technical specs of the car for their own sake.
It’s extremely important that you pick a car that will actually fit in properly with your everyday lifestyle, and that won’t immediately become impractical to actually use.
So, if you need a car to help with regular large shopping trips, make sure that it actually has enough storage space. And, if you have very limited parking space available to you, buying a relatively compact vehicle is likely to be a good idea.
Drive regularly after buying your car
Many first-time car buyers fall into the trap of going for an extended length of time without driving, after buying the vehicle.
This typically happens when there aren’t immediate everyday demands requiring you to get out and about and hit the road. Such as, for example, if you live in a city with a good public transport network, and mostly bought the car for leisure purposes.
Realise, though, that the longer you go without driving – especially when you’re still a relatively inexperienced driver – the rustier you will become, and the more stressful and dangerous driving experience will be when you actually get back to it.
So, make a point of driving regularly after buying your car.