Everything You Need to Know About Your First Car
Thinking of getting a car? It’s essential to any independent person looking to travel, or those who simply want an easier, more comfortable commute. A great way to save a lot of money is to buy used. In most cases, “used” doesn’t mean the rusty heap that’s decades old. Many used cars that are for sale are only a few years old. A five-year-old car is still a great car, and you won’t be paying full price for it.
Now hold up, there are still some things you should know first:
Know Your Finances
It’s incredibly important to know your finances. If you are planning on buying your car outright, then this is easy. You have a budget that you would like to stick to. If you, like many of us, need a loan, be sure to know your credit score. A high credit score will give you a low-interest rate, meaning the best deal for you in the long term. If you don’t have a long credit history, start building one. Pay with credit and pay in full on time every month.
Note: if you cannot pay for your car in full in 48 months, you’ll end up paying way more than you should. This is when used cars are your saving grace! A three-year-old new car is much more within your budget than a current year new car. This is doubly true for a used car.
Buying privately means anything from responding to a flyer you see on the side of the road to finding a listing online to even buying cars at auction. The risks are much greater than if you buy at a car dealership. For instance, when you buy a car at an auction, you run the risk of buying cars that were recalled for several serious safety concerns. These cars are sold as-is, for cash, and have no options of returns. Similarly, there is no legal requirement when someone sells their car privately. For those who are considering this option, research is your best friend.
Know the car, know the make; do searches for it and find out the history of the car before you make any purchases. Know all the faults of the vehicle before you buy. Some things are easy and relatively cheap to fix, others are very, very expensive. Know the car before you commit.
Buying from a car dealership
Buying from a car dealership is the safest way to go. The price is typically more expensive than if you were to buy privately, but the price easily makes up for all the headache. You are given the most legal protection out of your other options when buying a used car. This means that all the cars must be of satisfactory quality, usable, and as they are described.
They also offer the most variety in one place. So, if you want to buy a used Ford Ranger, you have your pick of models, years, and specifications. Between a variety of choices, guarantees on the vehicle’s performance, and the ability to pay through loans, buying from a dealership is the way to go. Oh, and don’t forget to haggle! You can negotiate price like anywhere else.
With all that in mind, it’s time to go out and get your new car! Remember, know your finances and research!
*This is a collaborative post