What to Think About When Buying Your First Car

Buying your first car is always an exciting experience. When you’re finally ready to get out on the road on your own, it comes with a taste of independence that is second-to-none.  However, there are several important things to think about when buying your first car, including the cost of insurance, car maintenance, and making sure that you choose a reliable and safe vehicle that’s going to last you. Thankfully, there are several things that you can do to save money when purchasing your first car along with making sure that you have the right vehicle for you. With so many different companies and models available in the market, the process can sometimes get a little overwhelming. So, here are some key points to consider when getting your first wheels. 

Understand Your Requirements:

The first step to take when getting your first car is to know your requirements. Decide what you are going to use the car for and how the model and make you choose is going to match up. For example, if you need a car to drive to your place of work on city roads daily, you’ll want something that has good fuel consumption and doesn’t need a huge amount of maintenance. The size of the car is also important, especially if you are driving to work somewhere that has quite a cramped parking space. On the other hand, if you are frequently driving on new roads and encountering different types of terrain, select a car that is sturdily built and able to keep up. Consider anything that you might be carrying in the car on a regular basis too, like equipment or heavy machinery. 

Consider Buying Used:

Many people want to save money when buying their first car and one of the best ways to do this is buying a used vehicle. While car finance and loans are still the most common ways to purchase a car in Canada, one of the benefits of buying used is that you can sometimes find deals that might be cheap enough for you to purchase outright, without the added worry of making a monthly car payment. On the other hand, you can find used yet newer cars that you can get finance for but will still be much cheaper compared to buying a brand-new vehicle. Check out the Clutch blog to find out more about buying a used car in Ontario. Clutch has a lot of useful information on finding the best used car deals for certain brands and plenty of advice suitable for new drivers on car insurance, taking the driving test, and more. 

Research Models:

Before you head out to visit a dealer or start searching online for used cars for sale, it’s a good idea to have some models in mind so that you can narrow down your options and avoid becoming overwhelmed with the sheer amount of choice available. Spend some time online researching some car models that you are interested in to find out more about their performance, safety, fuel economy, and how much you could expect to pay for it. Be sure to check out reviews written by people who own these cars since they are the ones who will have the most practical experience – and they’re sharing their experiences rather than trying to sell the car, so will therefore be more likely to give you an honest and well-rounded account. 

Leasing and Car Finance:

While it’s possible to pay full price for a car if that’s what you want to do, drivers in Canada will usually go for a car loan or lease. Either way, both have their own set of advantages that could be beneficial for you as a new driver. And, the fact that you can get both loans and leases for used cars can help make the process even cheaper for you, allowing you to drive away with paying less upfront. With car finance, you can get up to 100% of the car price financed and the vehicle will be yours once the loan is cleared. On the other hand, if you don’t want to be stuck with the same car for a long time and will want to change each year to the newer models, a lease could be the best choice for you. While you will still be responsible for maintaining the vehicle, you’re classed as paying to borrow rather than buy it, and the car can easily be replaced for a better one every year or two. 

Know Your Budget:

No matter whether you have enough money saved to purchase a car outright, or you want to go for a loan or lease option, it’s a wise idea to consider how much it is going to cost you each month and determine if this is able to fit into your budget. If you are going with a car loan or a lease, either way, you will need to pay the monthly installment, alongside the cost of regularly maintaining your car, making sure that it is insured, and getting fuel. Thankfully, you can find several sites where you can work out the monthly cost of pretty much any car, helping you determine how much you are going to need to budget for. 

Get an Insurance Quote:

Since the cost of car insurance can vary a lot depending on the car that you drive and it’s often pricier for new drivers in general, it’s a good idea to get an insurance quote on the cars that you are interested in before you go out and make the purchase. The last thing that you want is to go out and purchase a car that you love only to find out that you can’t afford to insure it. Since car insurance is going to be one of the major contributions to the overall expenditure of the car, it’s a wise idea to have a figure in mind for how much it’s going to cost you from the start. 

It’s also worth noting that rates and offers differ from one place to another, like how car insurance Toronto can be different from that in Ottawa or anywhere else in Canada or the US.

Test Drive the Cars:

Finally, once you have considered all the above and have narrowed down some potential car makes and models that might be the right option for you, it’s time to take some cars out for test drives. Ideally, you shouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, especially if you are buying a used car since the test drive not only gives you the chance to spot anything that could be wrong with the vehicle but also allows you to get a feel for the car and see if you like driving it or not. In addition to test driving, it’s a good idea to take somebody along with you such as a mechanic or a person who knows what they are talking about when it comes to cars. Even if you are quite knowledgeable about car engines, it can help to have a second opinion and somebody who is there to potentially spot anything that you might have missed. 

Buying your first car is always an exciting experience. But before you go out and spend your money on your first vehicle, it’s wise to keep the above in mind. Your first car is going to be the very start of your experience on the road, so it’s important to get a car that you like and can afford. 


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