There are quite a few events in a person’s life that they look back on fondly for decades to come. One of the more notable is buying your first car, or helping your child buy their first car which is where we are currently at with our 17 year old son!
When buying your first your first car, you want to make sure you get the right one for you. Not just so you’ll have great memories of driving it, but also to make sure you can drive it properly and have one that’s perfect for your needs.
That may sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. You can make the whole car buying process easier than you think by focusing on five tips and tricks to make buying your first car easier than you’d expect.
5 Tips for Buying Your First Car
1. Sort Out Finances First
Being able to afford to buy your first car is important. If you’re fortunate enough to have enough savings to pay for it outright yourself, that is fantastic! Most people end up needing to get a loan, and it’s always worth looking into this as early as you can.
We’ve had several cars over our 20 years of marriage and only one of them required a loan. The rest we bought used and paid for outright. When we got a loan and bought a used car we didn’t wait until we found a car to apply for a loan. Instead, get preapproval so you can figure out exactly how much you can spend. It’ll avoid the disappointment of finding a car, asking for a loan, and then getting it rejected. By going this route, you’ll end up knowing which cars you can truly afford.
2. Skip Dealership Add-Ons
When buying a car at a dealership, they’ll offer you a few add-ons for your new car purchase. Some of these could be upgrades to the car itself, while others may include insurance and similar purchases. New car add-ons can seem tempting, but they could be worth avoiding, especially if this is a first car your child.
Dealerships tend to charge drastically more for these add-ons compared to what you could find elsewhere. If you want to save yourself a noticeable amount of money, you may be better off getting them somewhere else. You’ll save yourself more than you’d think while still getting the exact same things elsewhere!
3. Choose Between New & Used
As I mentioned above, all but one of our cars have been used. Buying a new car or a used car is one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make when buying a car. There are pros and cons for both of these, ad considering all of them will help you come to a much better decision based on your circumstances and needs.
Used cars can be a popular recommendation, as they’re more affordable. You can see the types of Vauxhall Crossland cars on the used car market here. Despite being used, they can be just as durable as their newer counterparts. We’ve never had anything to worry about when buying used and it has saved us money on car purchases and insurance over the years.
4. Beware Longer Term Loans
Car loans have gotten longer and longer in recent years, but that doesn’t mean you have to go for the longer options. Longer term loans could mean having lower monthly repayments, it ends up costing you much more in the long-term. Depending on the interest rates, this could be a few extra thousand dollars.
Plus, consider the fact that you may not even have the car for the entire duration of the loan. You could end up replacing it in five years, for example. If you have a seven-year loan, you’ll still be paying for the car for an extra two years despite not owning it anymore.
5. Keep It Simple At The Dealership
Add-ons were mentioned above, and it’s always worth avoiding them. Avoiding them doesn’t just save you some money, though. Avoiding them helps you keep it simple, and simple is better when it comes to buying a car, at least for me, because it saves a lot of stress, hassle, and time.
One thing you can do to keep it simple is not bombarding the salesperson with information from the start. Instead, tell them exactly what they need to know, and leave it at that. It avoids both of you getting bogged down in various details, some of which could be irrelevant.
Buying Your First Car: Wrapping Up
Buying your first car shouldn’t be complicated and overwhelming. Make it much easier and smoother with these tips. Take a lot of stress and hassle out of the process by focusing on what is important and being prepared.
Your first car purchase is something you could end up looking back on for years to come, and it benefits you in the long run to put some time and effort into it. It might still require a little bit of work, but it won’t be as much of a hassle and hopefully, you’ll end up with a car you can love and use for years to come.
If you are buying a first car for your child, you may also want to check out Tips for Teaching Teens Navigational Skills!