When it comes to buying your first vehicle, it can be a rather overwhelming process, especially if all you know is that you want to buy a car. We’ve put together these helpful tips for first time buyers, so that they can successfully navigate their way to purchasing that first vehicle.
1. Know what you can afford
Before you start looking for a vehicle, you need to understand the costs involved with owning a vehicle. This includes the cost of fuel, taxes, tolls and maintenance as well as the cost of buying the car. If you have saved up and are planning to buy a second hand vehicle without a loan, knowing how much you can afford to pay out for repairs and vehicle maintenance is important. Some vehicles are more expensive to maintain than others so it is well worth checking on the average running cost of vehicles before making any decision.
If you are planning to buy a vehicle with a loan then knowing how much the monthly repayment costs are as well as the running costs will help you work out what you can afford.
2. What do you need in a vehicle?
The next thing to consider is what do you need your vehicle for? Will it be used to get you to and from work or will it be used to run errands for you and the family? Will it be used for carrying heavy loads regularly or will it be something you use at weekends to visit friends and family?
These are important things to consider as realizing that you need a vehicle that can tow a trailer three months after you have bought one that can’t is more than a little inconvenient. Understand what you need in a vehicle also will help narrow down the vehicle options. If you live somewhere that is remote, has bad roads and often requires some off-road driving in order to get anywhere buying a low riding sports car is not going to get you very far. If you live in a city where you have to frequently park in small spaces, having a wide truck isn’t going to be very useful.
3. What do you want in a vehicle?
When you know what you need in vehicle, the next thing to think about is what you want in a vehicle. If you want air-conditioning, child seat anchors and Bluetooth connectivity and the vehicle you are going to buy doesn’t have them, is this going to be a deal breaker?
Working out what you really want in a vehicle – what you can live without as something that might be nice to have and something that you will come to regret not getting in a vehicle?
Knowing what you want will help to refine your choice of vehicles even further so you can be sure you are getting the right one.
4. Research and Test Drive
Once you know what you need, want and the budget you have to work from, do some research! Look at your local area and see what dealerships there are, check the prices on new and second hand vehicles. If you have a type of vehicle in mind already, have a look at the different models available in your local area.
If you like how the models look, spend some time reading reviews of the vehicles from consumers as well as car sites and create a short list. Once you have your short list, book some test drives. Make sure that you get to drive the vehicle a decent distance.
5. Financing, purchase price and the buying process
Once you’ve test driven several vehicles and you’ve decided on the one you want to buy, it’s time to part with your money. But before you do, check the purchase price of the vehicle, make sure that the price is right. You can compare the price online and make sure that you are not being over-charged for your vehicle.
If you are going to get financing for your vehicle, make sure you have a down payment and have secured an auto loan from your local bank, credit union or your dealership. If you are buying a vehicle with finance, then there are some optional packages such as GAP insurance that you might want to consider.
Remember to take your time when buying a vehicle and not rush into buying the first vehicle that you come across.