What you need to know before taking the big step
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Buying your first car is an important step in which you need to think long and hard. With so many different cars, ranging from zero-emission electrics to fire-breathing supercars, it can be hard to know which car would be the best fit for your needs. That being said, there are definitely some considerations you’ll want to take into account when buying a car. Here are some tips for buying your first car.
Set a budget
First, it is important to establish a budget. Everyone’s affordability will be different depending on how much you actually want to spend on a car. Some will spend more money than others, and some will want to budget and spend as little as possible. Think about your monthly payments if you decide to finance, i.e. how much you can reasonably afford.
If it is a lump sum payment, then you will need to consider your savings and how much you are willing to spend on the car. The make and model of the car will also factor into your decision, as some cost significantly more than others.
Establish a budget means you won’t be tempted to overspend because that’s something that can definitely happen. This can be the case especially when you go to a dealership. Once the sales talk begins, there can be a lot of add-ons they can add to the cost, so it’s good to keep a budget where possible.
If you’re considering taking out a car loan, pay attention to how much you’re borrowing, the interest rate, and how much you can afford to keep spending.
New or used?
The next thing you’ll want to consider is whether you want a new or used car. New or used is an important decision to make as there are definitely differences between the two. Both have certain advantages, which are explained below. Anyway, it is good to think about it in particular and with a little thought, because it will certainly influence the budget.
The benefit of buy a new car is that you won’t have to pay any service fees, at least not for the first year or two. This can save you a lot of money in the necessary fixes it will need. There is also the cost of running the car and the insurance attached. With a new car, these will likely be much cheaper and more affordable.
The advantages of buying a used car are that it will be much more affordable for your wallet and there will likely be many more choices that fit your budget. There will also be plenty of variety to choose from.
As for the cons, new cars are expensive and used cars will have more than one used to breaking down. Either way, cars are often thought of as money pits, it’s just how much you’re willing to put into that pit that matters most.
Weigh the pros and cons of a new or used car and try to decide which you want before you go car shopping.
See the car in person
You always want to see the car in person before buying it. There will be plenty of legitimate listings and availability, but there will be scammers who want to take your money and run with it.
Even when you see the car in person, there will be vehicles that are not what they say they are on the list. Always be sure to visit the car itself so you can see it from all angles. Photos won’t tell you much, so the reality of visiting car listings is to cross-check everything you’ve been told about the car. Is everything specified? Are there any issues you can spot?
It’s also important to have the right documentation, so you want to make sure you have everything you need before handing over the money. If there is any hesitation in providing the documents or if the documents do not seem correct, this could be a red flag or a scam warning.
Take it for a test drive
The next thing you want to do is drive to a test drive. It will be the ultimate decision maker for you as the driver, or anyone responsible for driving the car. The car can be anything you want and perfect on paper, but when you get into the vehicle you want to be fully aware of everything. Every sound, every movement the car makes is going to help you decide whether the car is right for you or not.
Ideally, you want to take the car for a test drive that lasts at least 20 minutes, or even a full hour if possible. The more time you have to drive the car and test its functions, the better. You may want more than a test drive. If so, choose two separate times of the day so you can experience the car in both one setting and another. This will hopefully give you more clarity on the performance of the car.
You also want to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the car and anything you’re unsure about. Not everyone will have detailed experience of how cars work, and some will not know everything there is to know about cars. So don’t be shy and, if you have any questions, ask them whenever possible. This can help make a more informed decision accordingly.
Work out any logistics
The next thing to do is to work out any logistics that might make the car difficult to return to you. It may be that the car is abroad, so you need to think about ship a car finished the costs incurred. Certain conditions of the car may require moving it wherever you are.
You may have a car that you want to trade in for extra cash to purchase, so it’s important to consider the pros and cons of doing this as well. Planning may not be terribly complicated once you’ve paid, but some processes may be more complex than others.
Make sure you have planned your day appropriately to ensure everything is ready for his arrival.
Don’t feel pressured to buy right away
Finally, when it comes to buying a car, don’t feel like you have to buy the first thing you see or encounter. There are many cars to explore, and it is important to have an idea of each of the ones that interest us. The right car may also not be on the market at the time, so you may have to play around a bit waiting before you get your hands on the car you want.
Buying a car for the first time is big business, so make the decision carefully, focusing on your needs, the type of car you want, and how much you want to spend. Don’t force yourself to buy something you don’t need or don’t like.
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