First-time car buyers can easily get overwhelmed with the whole process of finding and buying a car, so we’ve put together 10 rules first-time car buyers should know. Here are some things to keep in mind when you go car shopping
Car buying can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Here are 10 car-buying rules that will help you get the best deal and keep your mind at ease about your purchase decision.
- Research your options
- Consider maintenance costs
- Size matters
- Get advice from someone with experience
- Think about resale value
- Car colors don’t matter
- Do your homework on dealerships and pricing
- Don’t buy on impulse
- Take test drives
- Trust your gut instinct
1) Research your options
Before buying a car, you need to do some research. You want to make sure that you’re getting a good deal on your new ride. You can find great tips online and at car dealerships. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with a salesperson to get a good price, too.
2) Consider maintenance costs
A car’s purchase price may be a big factor, but it shouldn’t be your only consideration. You’ll also want to consider future costs like fuel, insurance, and maintenance. Some cars cost much more to insure and maintain than others so you’ll want to keep that in mind as well when you’re deciding what vehicle is right for you. Keep these factors in mind as you go about choosing your next vehicle because it could save you some money in the long run.
3) Size matters
When deciding on a car, don’t focus on what you want. Instead, think about what you need—and then go up from there. If money is tight, it’s better to buy a bigger car than have money left over and not have room for your family and friends. Opting for more space also helps when shopping for used cars; because of depreciation, older cars are usually cheaper in terms of dollars per square foot than newer ones.
4) Get advice from someone with experience
You’re not an expert in car buying. It’s not your forte. Sure, you probably have a friend or two who knows all about it, but you don’t want to go with someone who is currently looking for a new vehicle. Instead, find a friend of a friend (maybe one of your parents? Or maybe someone on LinkedIn?) and ask them what they would recommend as a rule for first-time car buyers . . . and then make sure to follow their advice!
5) Think about resale value
When you’re buying a car, remember to think about resale value. Sure, you want a nice ride today, but what will happen when you try to sell it? When you’re thinking about how much it’s going to cost per month, don’t forget to factor in insurance and upkeep on top of that initial purchase price.
6) Car colors don’t matter
If you’re a first-time car buyer, your inexperience may make it harder to decide what color of the car to buy. However, after some research, you might find that there is no significant difference in safety or gas mileage with different colors. The most important thing is that you are comfortable with your purchase, so choose a color that appeals to you. This can be either one of your favorite colors or one of your least favorite—who cares? You will still own and love it.
7) Do your homework on dealerships and pricing
If you’re buying your first car, you’ll have to face all of those car dealerships that seem to pop up on every street corner. You can avoid having someone try to sell you anything by doing your homework on pricing and what makes a good deal. There are many ways to find out how much any given vehicle is worth; use them! Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
8) Don’t buy on impulse
Buying a car on impulse can lead to poor decision-making. Look at more than one dealership, and make sure you feel comfortable with your choice before you buy. When you’re making a large purchase, it’s important to know exactly what you want to avoid being swayed by emotions and last-minute sales pitches.
9) Take test drives
When you’re ready to start shopping, make sure you visit several dealerships and take as many test drives as possible. This will help you get a better idea of what you like, both in terms of models and dealership experience. You can also use these opportunities to negotiate prices or inspect vehicles for major flaws before making a decision.
10) Trust your gut instinct
When you go to a dealership, most of them are going to try to convince you that you need X, Y, and Z. You don’t. Make sure what you buy is what works for you and your family first, not what other people say is good. Trust your gut instinct on whether something feels right or not and it will serve you well when buying a car. Rules For First-Time Car Buyers.
When you buy your first car, it can be hard to know where to start when looking through the multitude of options available on today’s market. That’s why we’ve compiled 10 rules that first-time car buyers should know before stepping foot in any dealership—so you can make the most informed decision possible without getting overwhelmed or scammed by a salesman trying to close the deal.