Buying your first car can give you a roller coaster of emotions. On one hand, you’re excited to purchase your first automobile, which will give you tons of new-found freedom. On the other hand, it can be quite scary if you don’t know what you’re doing. Even knowing what affects your FICO score can play a role in what kind of car you can afford.
However, we have you covered. The following information will give you what you need to educate yourself. We’ll show you all the things to think about in order to sign on the dotted line.
Do Your Research
You’ve probably been thinking a lot about what you want. But, you may not know how to get there. As Kelley Blue Book explains, it’s important to research the information that’s out there. While your gut may tell you certain things that you want — or even need — there is plenty of information that you should still research. Fortunately, there are several apps, and websites, that offer this data. Remember — you can never learn too much about certain things, and car-buying requires you to know a lot. What’s good about one model may be bad with another. So, inform yourself about the intricate details.
Know What You Need
Another step is to be honest with yourself. Sure, most of us want a fancy, expensive car. But, as Bank of America explains, that may not be realistic. So, take into account your basic needs. Knowing your expenses, and what your car will be used for, is a great way to figure out what you can realistically buy now. You can always buy the fancier one when you’re making the big bucks later.
Consider The Down Payment
While it isn’t necessary, making a down payment will certainly help. After all, you should consider how much you can afford for your monthly payment. If the initial numbers are too high, then making a down payment now will make your monthly payments lower, which will save you money in the long run.
Plan For Future Payments
While it’s important to know what you’re going to pay, as CarMax tells us, it’s also a good idea to know how you’ll pay it. Do you plan to spend the rest in cash? Will you lease the car or will you finance it for several years? These are all important questions to ask. The answers to them may very well dictate how much you pay, and how often.
Narrow Down Your Choices
By now, you’ve probably put several cars on your list. So, it’s time to fine-tune your options. Compare the features every one offers. Which one gives you the best one for your buck? What do other owners of that model say? As we discussed earlier, the more you know, the better decision you’ll be able to make.
Take The Test Drive
You may love the specs, the comfort level, and the ability to do everything you want. But, in the end, it’s also about how the car drives — and you won’t know that until you test it out. So, take the test drive. Go with the dealer who can answer your questions while you drive around the block. Getting the information, and knowing how the car feels on the road, should be the final piece of the puzzle that you need to sign on the dotted line.
Buying your first car can be an exciting experience, yet nerve wracking at the same time. You look forward to the freedom it will give you. But, knowing which one to buy, and getting your finances straight, can be cumbersome. However, the information in this guide should give you everything you need to make an educated decision. Happy driving!