There are many obvious tips for buying your first car out there. However, there are a lot of key considerations which are often missed out. Buying your first car is super exciting, but there is a lot to do beforehand. When you prepare yourself and plan ahead, the process is much easier. It can also help to ensure that you end up with the best car for you.
Bear in mind, it is one of the biggest investments we make in our lives with a lot at stake financially. There’s new cars, secondhand cars, dealerships, private sellers, and auctions houses out there to suit your every need. However, they can make your car buying journey even more confusing.
Why you need to know these tips for buying your first car
This article aims to help first-car buyers understand the process as best as possible. It will also outline the steps you need to take towards owning your first set of wheels. Here are 7 important tips for buying your first car to keep in mind while shopping.
1. Be honest with yourself
When looking for a new car, you must be honest with yourself. You need to figure out exactly what your car will be used for. Consider things such as:
- The weather where you live (hot, cold, rain, snow)
- Where you need to go (class, work, adventures)
- Your lifestyle
- The driving conditions
Then, it is a good idea to look at the features, options, and price of your desired car.
2. Budget and financing
Secondly, you need to take a very realistic look at your finances. This is one of the most important tips for buying your first car because purchase price aside, there are lots of added costs that come with owning a car. Consider things such as:
Learn more about the maintenance and repair costs here. Then, you should look at your loan. A down payment usually isn’t required for your loan, but making one is often a good idea. Then, you won’t have to borrow as much, and your repayments will be lower.
3. Look at your options
Number three of these tips for buying your first car is crucial. Shopping for your first car is easier for you than it used to be. The internet offers plenty of information and a wealth of sellers near you. This means that you have far more options that are more likely to fall into your price range. You are also able to look at your options and narrow down your choices.
Since we are discussing first cars, it’s likely that you will be looking to buy a car on a budget. This makes Autotrader a fantastic place to do your research. You’ll find some great prices and since new cars lose so much value after leaving the garage, a second-hand car can be a far greater investment.
If price isn’t a concern, or if you’re looking to take out a loan so you can afford a new car then there are is also plenty of options. If you’d like to narrow your selection down based on specs alone, then Cars Guide is a great website to do just that. Similarly, Car Advice is a great platform for pitting similar cars against each other in thorough reviews. Another good website is Carsales.com. Not only can you read reviews, but also buy both new and used cars!
For new cars, you should ask multiple dealers for quotes on prices. For used cars, be sure to ask about the vehicle’s history including any accidents.
4. Apply for a loan
While it may seem weird to shop for a car loan before shopping for a car, it’s very useful. It allows you to gain an idea of how much you can borrow. On top of that, you also learn at what interest rate you can borrow. This means that you won’t have to make financial decisions while you’re at the dealership.
Don’t wait until the last minute, check out your car loan options now. This way, you can ensure that you’re getting the best rates possible.
5. Know your credit score
Knowing your credit score is very important, not just for car loans, but for life in general. Your credit score will help to determine the interest rate you will pay on a car loan. If your credit score is good, you will be able to achieve a more favourable rate. This will then affect your overall budget. This is one of the tips for buying your first car which is not usually considered but is very important.
Through your credit card provider, you will be able to get your credit score for free. Make sure you check your credit report before you want to buy to allow time to improve it if need be.
6. Test drive
Once you’ve settled on a few cars that suit your need and budget, take them for a test drive. This way, you can see how each one feels for you and performs in general. Try to drive them all on the same day so you can compare them with fresh eyes. It is always a good idea to call ahead and make appointments.
This will also help you gauge the way customers are treated at each dealership.
7. Close the deal
Once your research is done, you know what you want, and your financing is done, it is time to negotiate your deal. Remember that you’re in control. Then, you can focus on reading the contract carefully and closing the deal. Before you sign, make sure you understand the terms of any financing and warranty agreements.
Once you drive off, make sure you always make your car payments. That is the last step to the process. When you need help regarding your first car loan, contact the Australian Lending Centre. With fast, easy, and professional service, you can’t go wrong.