Steps to Buying Your First Car
New car owners can be overwhelmed by all the choices they face when buying their first vehicle.
What kind of car should I buy? What features are most important to me? How much am I willing to spend on a new or used car? What’s my budget like? These are just some of the many questions that come up when shopping for your first ride.
Thankfully, there is one site that can answer these questions and more. It’s called NerdWallet, and it offers terrific information about cars, including safety ratings, reliability estimates, model recommendations based on price range, gas mileage estimates…and so much more! The site even has interactive tools for finding out which cars match your wants and needs best!
1. Gather Information
Now that you know how much you can afford to spend, it’s time to start researching vehicles within your price range! I haven’t bought a new car in over 10 years, so the l Internet has made this process much more fun and informative than it used to be. You can check out safety ratings, interior features, exterior photos, prices…the list goes on and on! You can also compare new car models in your price range by checking out the “compare” feature. There are even some sites that will allow you to build your own dream car for free!
Just remember to stick to what you’ve established as your budget, even if you’re tempted to go over the top.
2. Narrow Down Your Choices
As I mentioned before, there are tons of sites out there that will help you narrow down your choices by price range and vehicle type! Consumer Reports is one of the best-known publications for unbiased reviews of popular cars. You can even download a free app on your smartphone for added convenience. All you have to do is type in the make and model of the car you’re interested in, and it will provide you with all kinds of information about that vehicle. You can find that site at consumer reports best new cars.
If you’re looking for something less formal, check out the numerous online review sites that exist. Edmunds is one of the biggest, and they allow you to review cars yourself, so it’s an excellent place for real-world information about popular models. You can also get user reviews for specific models on sites like CarGurus. This site allows you to search for specific makes and models that appeal to you, then narrow down your search even further by body type. You can look at everything from hatchbacks to minivans!
3. Dealer or Private Party?
This is an important question to ask yourself before you go shopping for a car. If you go with a private party, there are no “backstage” fees that the dealership adds to the sticker price. This can save you a significant amount of money, since “buyer’s fees,” “doc fees,” and other add-ons are typically in the hundreds of dollars. On the other hand, if you buy from a dealership, there is almost always an added warranty included in the purchase price. You will have more laws to protect you as a consumer, as well.
Regardless of which route you take, make sure to read reviews for both dealerships and private parties before making your final decision. Thorough research can save you from dealing with a sketchy car dealer or owner who is looking to rip off a newbie.
4. Set a Budget – And Stick to It!
Unless you’re in a serious financial crisis, it’s important to set a budget and stay within your means. A healthy down payment and low monthly payments will ensure that you can afford your car without getting into too much debt. If you’re unfamiliar with leasing vs. buying, I highly recommend checking out my article on the subject.
It’s easy to get caught up in all of the hype associated with buying a new car, but remember that you are trying to make an informed decision. Car Buying Tips That Will Save You Money breaks down everything you need to know about purchasing your next vehicle. From how much you can spend, what kind of car is best for your lifestyle, and where to look for the best deals, this article has it all!
And remember, “Happy wife, happy life!” (from Car Buying Tips That Will Save You Money )
If you’re a guy reading this article in its entirety, then congratulations. You’ve made a woman very happy today by taking an interest in your new car purchase. We appreciate it!
Your lady probably already has a pretty good idea of what kind of vehicle she’d like. After all, she’s the one who’s going to be using your new wheels on a daily basis! If you don’t know much about cars and how they work, then just ask her for advice when it comes time to test-drive what you think you want. She’s probably already done the research for you!
If your spouse/significant other is really passionate about cars, then there are a few extra things that you can do to make sure she loves her new ride. Check out these helpful tips from our friends at AutoGuide!
5. Test Drive It!
The test drive is one of the most important aspects of buying a car. You are never 100% sure that your car will be reliable, no matter how much research you do or how many positive reviews you’ve read. The only way to know for sure is by driving it yourself!
When you’re on the road with your potential new car, ask yourself a few questions to see how it really works. Can you comfortably fit your other half in the passenger seat? Are they happy with the way that the air blows from the vents? Are there any noises or rattles while driving? Does this model have a decent amount of trunk space for all of your stuff? If your car purchase passes the test drive, then congratulations! You’ve made it this far in the process. It’s time to spend some money and finally, get that new ride you’ve been dreaming about.
Do you want to know how to save money on your next car purchase? Mike’s Car Store is the best place in Georgetown, IN for new and used cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). We stand by our motto of Buying A Car Doesn’t Have To Suck™! and we live by it every day. We take pride in the fact that potential customers come from all over the country to purchase their car, truck, or SUV at our dealership.