Six Mistakes Most People Make When Buying Their First Car

Posted on 18 September 2013 by Tony Santos

Six Mistakes Most People Make When Buying Their First Car

Buying a car can be an overwhelming experience, especially if it’s your first car. You’ll probably be tempted to walk into the dealership and buy the first cool-looking car you can afford. Purchasing the wrong car is a mistake that you are likely to regret for years, so do your research beforehand and know what you want and what you’re willing to pay before you visit any dealerships.

Mistake #1: Buying a Car that Doesn’t Suit Them

You need a car that will get you from one place to another safely. It’s important to write down everything you want and organize your list in order of priority. Make sure that every car you test drive meets all the criteria on your list of needs. You may also want to make a list of things you don’t want, as this will help you stand up to a salesperson who tries to push you to buy a car that doesn’t meet your needs.

Mistake #2: Not Researching Several Dealerships

Once you have decided which features are important to you, the next step is to search local dealerships online and find vehicles that fit your criteria. Compare cars from several dealerships to get a good idea of the vehicles offered by each one. It’s also smart to check out the value of every vehicle you are considering, so that you can make sure the price that the dealership is asking is reasonable for the model, year and mileage of the vehicle. It’s always a good idea to check the Kelley Blue Book for pricing and financing options.

Mistake #3: Overlooking Insurance Costs

The payment is only part of the cost of owning a vehicle. Fuel and auto insurance costs should also be considered when you’re deciding which car to buy. Most car insurance companies will give you a quote according to the make and model of the car you are looking at buying. Some cars cost way more to insure than others, so it’s best to get a quote before visiting the dealership for a test drive.

Mistake #4: Taking an Insufficient Test Drive

Test driving vehicles is one of the most important parts of the car buying process. It’s best to subject the car to as many different road conditions as possible during the test drive, even if it ends up taking longer than you had planned. A car that drives great on the freeway may not do well on curvy country roads that are not well-maintained. The main purpose of the test drive is for you to figure out as much as possible about the mechanical condition of the vehicle before making a purchase.

Mistake #5: Not Sticking to Your Budget

A car is a major purchase, and you are likely to regret it later if you allow the salesperson to talk you into a car that doesn’t fit into your budget. Take the estimated insurance amount into consideration when you’re figuring out a car budget, as well as the car payment amount and a small amount each month to set aside for repairs and maintenance. The last thing you need is a car payment that takes up so much of your income that you cannot afford to maintain it properly.

Mistake #6: Failing to Prearrange Financing

The dealership will be happy to offer you financing options, but they are unlikely to be as favorable to you as the loan you can get from your credit union or bank. Most banks will give you a preapproval letter that you can take with you to the dealership. If the dealership happens to offer you better financing options than your bank, you can accept their financing even if you have already talked to your bank about a vehicle loan.

The main thing to remember is that you will be the one paying the loan payment and driving the car, so don’t let the salesperson pressure you into something you aren’t comfortable with. Your first car is likely to be one that you will remember forever, and avoiding these mistakes will help you have a positive car buying experience..

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