So You Wanna Buy a Car: 6 Tips for First-Time Car Buyers
Buying a car is a pretty big deal, especially if it’s your first time. This is primarily the first big purchase in a young adult’s life, and the start of your financial journey. Consider these tips in order to make your car-buying experience a good one!
- Know your budget. What can you afford to pay each month on a vehicle? Be sure to consider insurance costs, warranties, and finance charges!
- Research your vehicle. If you know what you want in a car, try finding one at a dealership near you. Enter the VIN number and mileage on NADA.com to find what the car is worth, and use that to help you come to a reasonable price with the dealership.
- Find good rates. Take some time to find the best rates, and consider getting pre-approved. Having an approved amount can save you a lot of time when looking for a vehicle, and already having knowledge on interest rates can protect you from misleading sales reps!
- Watch out for high mileage vehicles. The price may be appealing, but remember that this is an investment! Cars with high mileage tend to have a higher chance for mechanical issues. Remember that the average mileage per year on a car should be 15,000!
- Don’t get wrapped up in extra warranties. Dealerships gain incentives on their sold warranties, and sell you things you don’t always need. Again, do your research!
- Have a good down payment. If you have a pretty decent sized down payment, the chances are that you will have more power in negotiation. Money talks, and if they know you have cash to put down, they typically will not completely decline your offer.
When beginning the process of investing in a vehicle, knowledge and confidence are key! Research, preparation, and persistence are great qualities in wheeling and dealing, and just remember that you are the buyer and they need your business!