What You Need To Know Before You Buy Your First Car

There are a lot of emotions involved in buying a new car, and fear is not an exception. This is quite natural – purchasing a vehicle is the second largest and longest financial investment, right after real estate. And the price is not the only issue – the process of shopping is far more complex than simply deciding on the make and model. You need to be aware of all the different features and modern cars are full of surprises.

Some will go for used cars – this is a logical step if you want to evade the lease and your budget is not big enough for the new car investment. But, on the other hand, you’ll probably need more time to research and compare various makes and models. No two used vehicles are identical, which can bring an entirely new level of anxiety.

Whether you’re buying a used car or a new one, here are some things to consider that will help you reach a good deal without fear and anxiety attached:

Make The Most Out of Your Budget

If you’re buying a new car there’s not much you can do about the price except pay attention to features, and we’ll come to that later. But when buying a used one, you should pay attention to incentives such as price cuts, low-interest loans, and offer rebates. At the end of the model year, many dealers or manufacturers want to clear out the current inventory and make room for new models, so that’s the best time to buy. There’s also an option of trade-ins if you want to get rid of your old car when buying a new one. But make sure you negotiate the deal on the new car first, and keep in mind that selling the old one on your own could get you more money.

Examine The Interior

This goes for both used and new cars. You need to check all the features and see if they match your personal preference. Is there leather or fabric seats? What kind of entertainment system does it have? Is it still stuck in the era of AM and FM radio or does it have an XM satellite radio system and multiple screens? But not all features are about personal preference – you also need to think practical. The most important factor lies in available safety features – there are many of them which have been added to cars over the years, and a number of which we take for granted today. While some have become a standard, they’re not always present in older cars. Airbags, functioning seatbelts and brakes are a must, but there’s so much more that can ensure your safety on the road.  

Pay Attention to Car History

Car history is something to think about when buying a used car. You’ve examined the interior and scanned the exterior and everything seems spotless. But you shouldn’t jump to conclusions – you still don’t know if the vehicle has had a rough past. That’s why you should always run a vehicle history report with companies such as AutoCheck or CARFAX. All you need is the car’s identification number (VIN) and if the dealer is reluctant to provide it, that means you need to stay away from that car.   

Don’t Skip on The Inspection

The fact that you’ve run a vehicle history report doesn’t mean that the car hasn’t been in an unreported accident. That’s why it’s imperative to have the car inspected to make sure the vehicle is what it claims to be. The mechanic needs to examine everything thoroughly – interior and exterior. You shouldn’t skip this step because it’s a crucial one to make, ensuring you’re making a good investment.

Don’t Forget Insurance and Warranty

In most cases, you’ll need proof of insurance before the dealer will agree to sell you the car. If you’re buying from an individual you’ll also need to be insured before you drive it. This step is easy to forget and could lead to unnecessary complications. You also need to think about the warranty, especially if you’re buying a car older than four years. When you’re aware that the car is no longer covered under a warranty you can buy an extended one and evade being nervous about future repairs. This is particularly important if the car has an ʽAS ISʼ sign, meaning the dealer is not legally responsible for any damage after the car is driven from the lot.

Considering all this will not only save you money – right away or in the long run – but it will also ensure you’ll buy a car which you won’t try to sell a month later. Be prudent, be patient, and you could end up behind the wheel of a vehicle for many years to come.

Featured Photo by William Krause on Unsplash

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