Tips for Purchasing Your First Vehicle
You know what they say… New year, new car! Ok maybe that isn’t what they say, but many people use their new year’s resolutions as opportunities to upgrade various aspects of their lives, including purchasing their first vehicle. However, purchasing that new ride is not an easy undertaking. We all know how tricky buying a car from a dealership can be, especially if it is your first time doing so. This blog provides some tips for making smart decisions and being proactive as a first-time car buyer.
Know what you want and be upfront
Before you step foot into a dealership, know EXACTLY what you are looking for. Are you looking for a car just to go back and forth from work? A car that can off-road? A car that is environmentally friendly or one that can go from zero to 90 in three seconds? Have answers to these questions ready by evaluating your lifestyle and surrounding driving conditions. Better yet, have the make, model, year, and average price of your ideal vehicle in mind to avoid time-consuming banter with the car salesmen.
Consider your finances
Figuring out what you can afford may seem obvious, but checking and understanding your finances is extremely important as a first-time car buyer. You should plan for the actual purchase of the car, and you should also consider the cost of using and caring for your car, including gas prices, maintenance, and insurance. If your finances allow, it is also helpful to make a down payment when purchasing a car, as it will lower your monthly payments in the long run.
Know your credit score
Your credit score determines how much interest you will be paying on a car loan. You can check your credit score with your bank or apps like Credit Karma, Experian, or TransUnion. Having a good credit score means having a favorable interest rate which can determine your overall budget. It is recommended that you check your credit score in advance to allow time for improvement if necessary.
Apply for a loan
Avoid making on the spot financing decisions at the dealership by applying for a loan in advance. This will help you understand how much money you can borrow from the bank and the interest rate. Start by applying at your bank, then applying at other institutions to ensure you get the best rate. You can apply at as many institutions as you like and it won’t affect your credit score as long as you’re shopping within a short period of time.
Take a test drive
Once you have identified the vehicles you are interested in, be sure to take them for a spin to see how they perform on the road. Try to test drive the vehicles all in the same day so that you can easily compare. It is a good idea to call and schedule appointments with the dealerships in advance to structure your day.
Take some time to make a decision
Deciding which car is for you can be difficult, especially when you have to consider things like financing and insurance. Just because you visited dealerships and test drove a few cars does not mean you need to close the deal the very same day. The salesmen will inevitably pressure you; however, buying your first vehicle is an important life decision and it deserves adequate consideration. So, take a day, sleep on it, then make an informed decision after thinking about all the variables.
Purchasing your first vehicle is exciting and certainly an accomplishment to be proud of. When properly prepared, you can have a relatively smooth experience at the dealership as a first-time car buyer. When purchasing your first car, it is also important to keep safety in mind. Considering cars with the most up to date safety features could benefit you if ever in a car accident. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, call 1-800-411-PAIN to get the help you need! 411 Pain will provide you with the medical attention you need, and we will connect you with attorneys who will fight for the compensation you deserve!