Are you in the market for your first vehicle? Welcome to a tricky world where it is so hard to make a definitive decision on a whim. You need to consider several factors when making this big purchase, whether it is your first ride as a newly licensed driver or it’s the first car that you are buying with your own money.
Car vs. motorbike
One of the first few things you must slip under the carpet is going for a four-wheel or a two-wheel drive. For years, there has been a constant argument about which one’s the better investment. Well, each has its pros and cons. But if you can afford a car, a four-wheel vehicle, you should make it a priority for a whole lot of reasons like reliability no matter what the weather is. You should also ensure enough space to ride with family and friends. You can always buy a motorcycle when you already own an automobile in your garage, so you’d have a suitable ride under different circumstances.
Tips for buying your first car
Now that you are sold on the idea of owning a car first, it is time to check the market for the best first ride. It is not an easy task, mind you. Nevertheless, try using the following tips as a guide.
- Set a realistic budget. A car is one of the most expensive material possessions you could have, but go easy. You do not need to splurge too much and go for the luxury variety, especially if it is beyond your capacity to pay. It’s great to have an excellent ride that will help you rank on the ‘cool’ list. But forget about it altogether if you can’t afford it. It is better to look into the value of function rather than style; aim for dependability and not popularity. Take some helpful advice from a dependable resource for vehicles of various types like youngautomotive.com. It is easy to find a match through their friendly sales staff that could guide you even through financing.
- Check the options within your price range. It is easier to check out brands and models with a workable budget. Not too many units would fit into your price range unless you are ready to splurge, in which case your eyes will be focused on some of the most expensive types. At this point, you need to do your homework. Create a comparative list that will put your prospects against each other, including their prices, specs, strengths, and weaknesses. This definitive list will help you trim down your choices further based on your needs and requirements.
- Prioritize safety and performance over everything else. Car dealerships may say many things about their units, but in the end, it’s your choice and your voice that will matter. If you are to weighing your options according to various factors, make sure to put safety and performance on top of your list. Those are non-negotiables.
- Test drive. When you have a couple of units shortlisted, it is time to check them out personally. Test drive and have a feel of each. Only by getting behind the wheel can you really feel if it seems fit. You can set up a test drive with your chosen units without a problem because car dealerships are more than willing to oblige.
- After the test drive, you would surely have a single or two choices in mind. Do you know the deciding factor if you can go for that choice? The financing schemes made available to you, that’s what. A car is not that cheap, from the upfront cost to the miscellaneous expenses. Be sure to get a financial deal that fits your purse alright. Study the document before you sign any agreement. You can ask for clarification if it has any part that you do not understand. And, of course, do not be afraid to negotiate the terms. It will do you good.
The price of owning a car
If you think your challenge ends when the car of your dreams is already in your possession, think again. Owning a vehicle could bend your budget significantly. Apart from the actual cost of the unit, you still have to pay for titling and registering, insurance coverage, regular maintenance, and gas (plus toll fees, as applicable).
That’s why you need to be smart when shopping around for the best deals. Otherwise, it could exhaust your funds and close down your bank account. So here are some tips on making your vehicle purchase more affordable:
- Save up. Before you take the plunge, test the waters. Measure your capacity to pay. From there, you will know how far you are from your dream car or if you will have to downgrade for the sake of your financial stability.
- Get a more significant discount. Do this by paying a higher down payment or paying the upfront cost in one go. The discounts and savings at stake are the reasons you need to be financially prepared for a purchase as big as this.
- Consider buying used instead of new. Second hand vehicles are not at all bad. They can represent a good purchase if you ace your research.
- Ask help. No, we don’t mean taking out a loan. It would incur even greater interest, and we do not want that. Instead, you may borrow money from a relative or a friend who could trust that you would not run away from your financial responsibility. For example, you can ask your spouse to put some of your joint funds into the purchase and slowly put it back on as you go along.
- Take care of your vehicle. Nothing could set you back financially than an accident or a vehicle breakdown, especially if you do not have sufficient coverage with the car insurance policy you obtained. Be a responsible car owner and keep all possible issues factored in. It will save you a reasonable sum in the long run.
With all that’s been said, good luck buying your first car!