Your Ultimate Guide To Buying Your First Car
Purchasing a car can be a major undertaking. This is especially true for first-time buyers who are often young adults who don’t necessarily have a ton of money, so getting a vehicle is a major expense for them. Below are some tips and pitfalls to avoid when buying your first car.
Are You Buying New or Used?
There are advantages and disadvantages to buying new and used vehicles. While new cars will almost always cost more, they will also require less maintenance, come with warranties, and are unlikely to have mechanical problems. Used cars on the other hand tend to be much more affordable, costing a fraction of their new counterparts, but may be worn or have myriad mechanical issues that will cost money to fix.
Even if you decide to buy a new car, it is crucial to read consumer reports to learn about recalls. A recall occurs when a defect is discovered in a specific model that requires it to be pulled from the market. This has become an issue in recent years, and you want to stay away from brands and models that have a history of defects and recalls.
Always Get Used Vehicles Inspected
If you decide to buy a used vehicle, do not hand over any money to the seller until you have their vehicle inspected by a mechanic you trust. Unfortunately, some used car dealers and private sellers are notorious for selling “lemons” to customers, cars that seem to work fine until you drive them off the lot at which point they either break down completely or develop various mechanical issues. If your inspection reveals faults, ask the seller to lower their price to account for them or walk away from the deal completely.
Know Why You’re Buying The Car
As previously stated, a new or used car is a major expense for most young adults, who tend to be strapped for cash. If you’re going to spend your hard-earned savings on a vehicle you should have a good reason other than joyriding with friends or impressing people. Are you planning to use the car to commute to work or school? Or perhaps you’ve started a business that requires you to haul supplies and you need a pickup truck? The vehicle you buy should function as an investment, one that will provide a positive return a few years down the road.
Don’t Forget The Insurance
Car insurance is mandatory in most states, as driving around without it is illegal. You’ll need to decide what level of coverage you want and how much you can spend. Most jurisdictions will require you to get insurance prior to leaving the dealership and most dealers can put you in touch with insurers.
Always Pay in Cash Not Credit
When it comes to automobiles, if you don’t have the lump sum needed to buy them outright, it is generally a bad idea to go into debt. The reason is that vehicles are depreciating assets, meaning they tend to lose value as time passes, so it’s illogical to go into debt to purchase one and incur a monthly car note unless you have a good reason.