Nothing feels better than getting your first car, it is one of life’s most memorable moments. Being a first time buyer in today’s world gives you countless options, all available at your fingertips.
The road map below will help you navigate the process of purchasing your first car.
1. Determine Your Budget
When you decide to look for a car having a realistic budget is very important. The budget should be centered on what you can afford per month. When determining the amount that you can spend each month, consider all your expenses throughout the month.
2. Know Your Affordability for Each Month
Although this may seem similar to determining your budget, the matter of indebtedness is different than that of monthly commitments. Neither expenditure should be out of balance in regards to your other assets and will help in concluding what you can spend monthly.
3. Narrow Your List to a Few Cars
Many cars have probably caught your attention by now so you should start out by researching them to see if they will fit your needs and your budget. Take note of the suggested retail prices and the invoice prices of those cars you think would be a good fit for you. Keep in mind that by choosing a less expensive car you can have some leeway within your budget for other monthly expenses.
4. The ‘Wants’ vs. The ‘Needs’
When purchasing your first car you should take note of your wants as well as your needs. The extra attention you pay to these details will help you fulfill those needs and wants. Prioritizing your needs and wants will help you find a car that best fits you.
5. Do Your Research
Take the time to do your research. The internet is a great place to start to gain insightful information on everything ranging from the price, to consumer opinion regarding a particular model. This can help you narrow down your choices and single out exactly what you are looking for. Car dealerships can also be helpful when doing research, however they are trying to sell their vehicles and they often lure customers into purchasing a car that does not fit all the requirements of the buyer.
6. Finding A Dealership
Dealing with a local dealership can be beneficial especially if they hold a good reputation and you can easily take advantage of the car care services they may have to offer.
7. Test Drive
Although you might think that you have found the perfect car, taking a test drive can change your perspective beyond what the reviews or comments have disclosed. You will want to take the car for a test drive in the conditions that are similar to your daily routine to determine whether or not to purchase the vehicle.
8. Determine the Proper Price for Purchasing
Once you have chosen the car that fits your criteria now is the time to negotiate the purchase price. Some lending institutions can help you in gaining perspective for an appropriate purchase price and may even have a contact at the dealership. If that is the case talk with the referral before talking to the salesperson. Also keep in mind, when negotiating the financials, not to reveal what you can pay each month but to stick to a total purchase price.
9. Secure Financing
It is wise to have financing lined up before you speak to a finance representative from a dealership. Talking with a financial institution or insurance provider before you go to the dealership and having your financing ready to go is in your best interest. This will allow you to have more control over the situation.
10. Enjoy the Process
Buying your first car is one of the largest investments you will make and it only happens once! Taking your time and understanding the process will make your first car buying experience an enjoyable one.