In the U.S, there are around 15 million vehicle sales in a given year, which shows many of us are gearing up for our first car.
As a first-time buyer, you want a vehicle that is affordable and aligns with your lifestyle. But with so many options available, it can feel overwhelming to know what to look for, especially if you’re not familiar with cars. Maybe that’s what brought you here, you’re hoping to find the vehicle of your dreams and are searching for a guide.
Sounds like you? Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. Here’s the only checklist you need as a first-time car buyer.
Outline Your Budget
Before buying your first car, figure out your finances. If you’re interested in getting a car loan, use a specialized calculator to calculate your monthly payments. Otherwise, you risk not having enough funds for other areas of your life like rent.
You’ll likely be tempted by all types of cars at the dealership, so come prepared. Decide whether there’s a model or brand that you love and read reviews to see whether it’s worth your time and money. You should also read forums so you get realistic feedback about the model.
Further, list the top car features that you can’t live without, whether it’s a booming sound system or all-wheel drive.
Know When to Buy
Everyone in the automotive industry knows that when you buy makes a huge difference. If you don’t need the car urgently, try making the purchase between October and December for the best deals. This is because most dealerships have sales quotas to fill so are desperate to drive sales quickly.
Get Price Quotes
Before embarking on your journey to vehicle ownership, it’s wise to get price quotes. Make sure you visit several dealerships so you have figures to compare with. You should also feel comfortable asking an array of questions about car ownership such as the features or if there are any concerns you may have.
Further, use this time to find the perfect auto insurance deal. Know, that this is the second-largest expense after the initial purchase so take time researching.
Test Drive the Vehicle
The most exciting part of buying a car is the test drive. This lets you experience the vehicle and helps you decide whether you enjoy riding in it. To maximize your time, ask whether you can test drive on the local roads or freeway for a better feel.
Also, before you get behind the wheel, learn how to handle accidents and what not to do so you’re prepared in the worst-case scenario.
Our Checklist for the First-Time Car Buyer
Now you’ve read our checklist for the first-time car buyer, it’s time to find your dream car.
As you start your search, consider your budget and research models so you know what to expect. You should also get quotes from several dealerships and always test drive the vehicle. Good luck!
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