Learning how to drive and passing your driver’s license is a major life milestone. Now that you have that little card in your hands – the next step is to get your own set of wheels.
Buying your first car can be quite daunting – that’s why we have put together these 5 tips for first-time car buyers and new drivers:
1. Do your research before and during the car-buying process. Car-buying research includes searching for the make and model of your desired car and making sure there aren’t any major consumer complaints, recalls, or safety-related defects. Just because you like the look doesn’t mean it’s a good first-time car. It’s important to keep your emotions at bay when researching your ideal first vehicle. Research the costs of fuel consumption, maintenance, and repairs.
2. Establish a budget. Be realistic with your car budget. If you have to pay for the car yourself, this is an important time to demonstrate responsibility. While the best option would be to pay cash, usually that’s just not possible. Most car buyers need some sort of financing.
3. Look for Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles. Certified pre-owned vehicles are the best kind of used car you can buy. Instead of buying a new car, visit your nearest reputable car dealership and let them assist you in finding a pre-owned vehicle that’s right for you.
4. Inspect the car, inside and out. In addition to a visual inspection of the inside and outside of the vehicle, you’ll want to take it for a test drive. Now is the time to find out the history of the vehicle – ask questions like:
- How old is the vehicle?
- What mileage has it done?
- Does it have a full-service history?
5. Secure financing. When financing your new vehicle, try to put at least 20% percent down. This makes it a lot less likely that you will default on your loan. The more money you put down, the more secure your purchase will be and the less your monthly repayments will be.
SEE ALSO: 8 top myths about car insurance
Before you approach a bank for a loan, check with the dealership. They often have better financing options if you are purchasing the car from them. And since all the payments and purchases come from one place, it makes things a lot simpler.