Most people buy their first car well into their mid-twenties. This is because of the different forms of efficient public transportation options available to them from college through to their corporate life. Buying the first car can be either a daunting experience, an exciting experience, or even both. There are so many things to consider aside from the cost and brand of the car. And getting it wrong the first time can lead to a bad first-car experience. Hopefully, these tips will help you make the right decisions.
- Strongly consider starting with a used car
No matter how good a driver you are, most car experts recommend purchasing a used car as your first car. Aside from the fact that a used car adequately prepares you for handling a new one, new cars lose about 11% of their value the moment they leave the showroom or car lot. And for the next five years, a new car will depreciate by about 15 to 25% every year. After the fifth year, a new car will depreciate by over 70%. Unless you already have enough cash to buy a new car, an old one is a wiser option, especially if you’re taking a loan to buy it.
- Have a budget before picking a car
Ask yourself how much you can afford, and what your budget is. This will help you narrow down your car options from a possible dozen to just a few. This may not be the most exciting thing to do, but it is definitely the wisest. Ensure that your budget covers more than just paying for the car. For example, if you are purchasing online, you will need to factor in things like car shipping cost and insurance cost. Also, make calculations for other things like gas and repair works.
- Pick the car you need
This is the point where you need to give up every fancy of what your dream car should look like. At this point, you should focus on the car you need and not the car you want. Once you finally settle on the price range within your budget, think about what you need the car for. Are you looking for a means of daily transportation to work, or are you looking for a vehicle for delivery services? Do you want something to handle the smooth city streets or a car that will negotiate the rough terrain of the countryside?
- Do some research
Now you have been able to narrow down your options to one or two car brands. It is time to do your homework. Read all you can about your options. Find out what your best options are when it comes to where to purchase the car. Pick out different car dealers and compare their prices. If you are buying the car from a friend or someone you know, then make sure things such as insurance, registration, sales tax, title transfer, bill of sale, etc. are all properly covered. Your research will also prevent you from overpaying.
Photo Credit: Mazda