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Buying a Car for the First Time

Buying a Car for the First Time

Tips for buying your first car

Purchasing your first vehicle can be one of the most exciting and yet stressful times for a new driver. From figuring out your budget, to determining the proper car for your needs, there’s a lot of uncertainty for first-time buyers. Fortunately, the more you know before walking into a dealership, the easier the car-buying process is. Read ahead to help reduce some of that anxiety and make yourself a more knowledgeable consumer.
Figure Out Your Budget
One of the most important things you’ll need to figure out before walking into a dealership is determining your budget. While it’s paying for everything in cash is advantageous, chances are you’ll need to finance at least a portion of the car. Figure out how much you’ll be able to save in a month to help pay off your vehicle.
Not only will you need to make monthly payments for your vehicle, but you’ll also have insurance to pay for – and you should also be spending extra along the way to properly maintain your car. This can get pricey, so make sure the car you choose is affordable and won’t put you in debt in the long-run.
Determining the Right Vehicle
Remember that the perfect car depends on the person. Someone who is single and commutes over an hour to and from work every day will need a different vehicle than a married family who run a local business.
If you’ll be driving a lot because of your job etc, look for something better on gas. If you’re more concerned about having a safe and comfortable vehicle for your family, it may be better to look at purchasing a SUV.
Research
The internet is your friend – there’s no reason not to do some research on potential vehicles before walking into the dealership. It will make the process much quicker if you already know what you’re interested in.
Look up car reviews, YouTube videos, prices and even message boards to see what other consumers think of their purchase. All this will make you a more knowledgeable buyer and help you in your decision process.
Test Drive
You won’t truly know if the vehicle is right for you until you drive it yourself. Make sure you can see easily from all angles, everything feels comfortable and most importantly, you feel safe behind the wheel.
Test it out in both the city and highway, and even take it through a portion of your daily commute. Don’t be shy about taking the vehicle a little further from the dealership – give it a good test drive.  Try different road surfaces and speeds ie. street speed and find a local highway for increased speed.  Don’t rely on a dealership’s pre-planned test drive route – you’re the purchaser and you’re the one who needs to be happy with your purchase.
Purchase the Car
After you’ve negotiated a price with the dealer, you will need to determine how you’ll pay for the vehicle. Most people will either lease or finance their vehicle, so it’s important that your budget is determined beforehand so you can figure out what is best for you.
Maintaining Your Vehicle
Proper maintenance can go a long way in increasing fuel economy, safety and the potential trade in value. Make sure to check your tires, air filter, oil and other fluids regularly to ensure your car is running at an optimal level.  Browse our extentive Car Tips blog posts to make yourself a better educated drive.