Buying your first car is an exciting experience, but it requires wise decision-making over excitement. It’s more than buying the first car you’ve seen or the newest model you’ve heard. By carefully deciding what car to buy, you can make a big purchase worthwhile. With such, here are some of the steps you need to take when purchasing a car for the first time:
- Decide Between Used Vs. Brand New Car
Your first car doesn’t need to be brand new. Sometimes, going with secondhand vehicles may be the right choice for you. To know what choice to make, you’ll have to weigh their differences. Below are some of them:
- Innovation: If performance is your main concern, then you may want a new car. It’s because manufacturers are constantly improving vehicles’ performance. This includes more horsepower from small engines, new materials for lighter vehicles, better fuel economy for engines, and the like.
This means that older cars—used ones—may not have the same level of innovation compared to newer models. But that depends on how old the car is; some used cars are newer models, too.
- Reliability: While new cars have more innovations, it doesn’t mean that used cars are unreliable. Depending on your needs, some used vehicles may be suitable for you. Reliability relies on the condition of the vehicle. Thus, you need to find a reputable seller to ensure that the pre-owned vehicles are in good condition.
You also have to let an experienced and trustworthy mechanic check the used car to know if it’s still usable. So, if the used car is a decade old, you might want to go for newer cars. Brand new vehicles are engineered to have longer life spans and improved performance, making some of them reliable.
- Price: One important thing to consider is the price. Generally, used cars cost less than their original prices. On the other hand, new cars are more expensive upfront. However, if the used car requires more repairs in the long run, it may become more costly than the new ones. The thing is, you have to find a used car which isn’t overused or hasn’t suffered accidents or significant catastrophes.
- Stick To Your Budget
After weighing the pros and cons of used vs. new cars, it’s time to set your budget. Once you do, you should stick to it. That way, you won’t go overboard and buy the most expensive one, which may empty your bank account.
To do so, you need to check how much you can afford to spend. When you’re buying a car via loan payments, ensure that you can afford the monthly fee. If it’s going beyond your monthly budget, then you may have to consider another car.
You can use a free car loan calculator on dealers’ websites. By doing this, you can have an initial estimate of your monthly payments.
Moreover, you also have to add taxes, car insurance, and the like when calculating the total cost of acquiring a car. This means that your estimated monthly payment may be higher than the estimations from car loan calculators.
After considering all of these factors, you can then decide on the car model and loan terms that won’t hurt your budget.
- Check The Features
Another step you must not forget is knowing the car’s features. This is an easy step since you can find almost all the features of a car you’re eyeing online. You can visit the official website of the manufacturer or read reviews from owners of such vehicles. You can even find videos featuring the car’s pros and cons. Aside from those, you can visit a dealer near you and let them explain a car’s features.
By doing this step, you can decide if the car is what you’re looking for. Sometimes your first preference may not have the features you want, so knowing such is better than regretting your purchase.
Moreover, this step will also determine if the car is suitable for your needs. For example, if you have a family, the car should have features that your family can use. Some vehicles are meant for families while others are for singles. Thus, it’s best to always check the features before making a purchase.
- Conduct A Test Drive
Lastly, do a test drive. Most dealers offer this for free, so it’s best to do it. That way, you can check the car’s vibe. Sometimes you find out that your initial pick may not be the best when you drive it.
When you test drive, you can have an actual feel of the car—how it feels on the road, its features, and the like. You can identify if it’s comfortable and easy for you to drive.
Buying the right car saves you from regrets and unexpected expenses. You’re more likely to enjoy driving it because you know that you’ve made the best buying decision. This guide can help you ensure that your first car is perfect for you.