Buying your first car?

shallow focus photography of orange Volkswagen Beetle

No matter how much affection we develop for our high school hand-me-down car, at some point it’s time to move on. It doesn’t matter whether you a recent grad with your first real job or someone other than a first time car buyer, the buying process is never filled with as much uncertainty as it is the first time. Being a good first time car buyer isn’t easy, but it’s necessary

Slow down

Approach the car buying business like you approach an exciting new date. You know how careful, even hesitant you can be when you’re meeting your new flame? That attitude works really well when it comes to purchasing your new car.

Establish a realistic budget

This figure is generally based on what you can afford per month. Of course being able to purchase cash is ideal but unrealistic for many. So, look at your cost of living in all the important areas, like rent, food, and happy hour. Once those are calculated, the remainder can be spent on a car payment.

Used car vs new car

If you buy a new car, chances are you can specify exactly what you want it. You might even have the dealer search for one with the right combination of options and interior and exterior colours. What’s more, a new car’s warranty is untouched. You have a far wider choice of vehicle when buying a used car. Also, a pre owned car is going to be less expensive and no taxes are payable for the purchase.

Do your research

There is an amazing amount of information on new and used cars. Once you’ve digested it all be proactive. If you see someone with a car you’re interested in, stop and ask them about their ownership experience. See if there’s more information you need before you can buy yourself that car, don’t rely on just one person’s experience.

Take a test drive

Virtually nothing is more important in your decision process than how you feel behind the wheel. And, so many variables come into play – seat height, wheel adjustment, steering feel, throttle tip-in, outward visibility, control layout and so on – that you simply must spend a reasonable amount of time driving the car before buying it. That time should be more than five minutes on someone’s idea of a stop-and-go test route. Take at least half an hour, while trying stop-and-go, freeway merging and freeway speeds.

Try  to purchase a car that you can afford to pay off in 48 months. You don’t want to spend the next 6 years paying off a car.