Oct 26, 2017

There are a few major purchases we make in our lives that can feel overwhelming and, at times, downright scary, one of those purchases is your first car. Between car lots swarming with pushy salesmen and private sellers offering excellent deals with no guarantee, buying your first car can sometimes feel intimidating. It doesn't have to be that way though, all it takes is a little bit of knowledge gained through simple research to feel like an expert car buyer. By following these six simple tips you'll be able to purchase the perfect car with confidence.

Tip #1

Figure out the type of vehicle you need. There's a difference between a dream car and a car that truly suits your needs, we can't all buy the newest sports car on the lot but with some research you can find a car you'll love that will also suit your needs perfectly. To figure out what you need take into consideration your everyday life. For example, If you live in city and will only use a car to go short distances than a compact car with great mileage will suit your needs fine, but If you will regularly haul large amounts of stuff then a simple truck might be better.

Tip #2

Research that vehicle. Once you know the type of vehicle you want, then do some research to find the best one for you. Not all sedans are created equal and some trucks will work better in the snow then others. Figure out what's important for you in a car, some people need air conditioning and some people live in climates where it isn't necessary. Only you know what your perfect car looks like so figure that out and find it. You can search for reviews and stats about every car on the market by looking online. Also, talk to people whose opinions you trust to get their take on different makes and models until you feel confident in a vehicle.

Tip #3

Know your budget. For first time car buyers buying in cash is not often a possibility. Sure, you could get a beater off a private seller but when it comes to vehicles you'll often get what you paid for and you don't want to have to pay for car number two less than a year after car number one. The average person puts 15-20% of their monthly income towards a car payment so it's important to take a good look at your monthly income and where your money currently goes to be sure you can fit in your car payment. Car financing options are usually simple to get and vehicles are a worthy investment so if you feel like you can't afford one it might just take shifting where your money goes to make it work. Once you know the monthly payments that are affordable to you then seek out a financing option that best suits your needs.

Tip #4

Find the right dealer. Before just searching for your vehicle in your town find a dealer you know you can trust. A reputable dealership will only sell vehicles in good condition and will often be willing to negotiate add-ons such as tinted windows, a spare key, or a new set of tires. They'll also offer quality warranties and sometimes money back guarantees if anything goes wrong in the first thirty days. To find the best dealership look for reviews about the dealerships in your town and ask people you know that have bought vehicles before, hearing from a variety of people about a variety of experiences can help you figure out where you would best like to take your business.

Tip #5

Know about cars or find a friend who does. When you go onto a lot and are led to a vehicle that you deem absolute perfection it's easy to forget to check for simple things like working cell phone charging ports, worn tires, or slightly squealing breaks. If you have someone with you that has extensive mechanical knowledge then they can help you look over the car for anything that you may want fixed as part of your car buying agreement. This simple step will save you a lot of potential issues. It also helps if this friend is a great bargainer because sometimes the excitement of buying a new car makes it difficult to objectively bargain with a salesman for the best deal possible.

Tip #6

Buy your car. Now that you're ready with the knowledge of your perfect vehicle, a financing option, and know which dealership you want to go to, it's time to go out and find your car. The key here is confidence, when a salesman can see that you know what you want they'll be less likely to lead you astray. If the dealerships you've chosen allow you to search their inventory online then do so beforehand to see if they have what you want in stock. If they don't have inventory online, then when you get to the dealership and someone asks if they can help you, tell them exactly what you're looking for. Make sure to test drive the car before talking money, most dealerships will allow you to test drive a vehicle for a long time period, take advantage of that. You want to know how this car will feel driving on the highway as well as through the city, up and down hills, making turns and how well it stops at starts at lights. Be sure you feel totally comfortable in a vehicle before purchasing it.

Once you've test driven it, looked it over for any mechanical issues, and decided what you'd like to negotiate into your deal it's time to get down to business. Since you've done all your research by this point you'll know exactly what you want and how much you want to get it for. Never lose your confidence, be firm but not aggressive and you'll be able to drive off the lot with your dream car and the satisfaction that you got a wonderful vehicle at a great deal to last you for years.

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