Buying your first car is both exciting and confusing. While a first car is always a prized possession, deciding which one to buy and how can be generally tricky for normal people with average incomes. It can get even trickier if you are a student and do not have a fixed source of income. However, our tips for buying your first car can help you understand the process better and take a well thought of decision regarding your first set of wheels.
Consider your budget first: All of us dream of driving around in jazzy sports cars and luxurious sedans while sitting behind our parents in the humble family utility vehicle or hatchback. However, these dreams generally do not come true with your first car, especially not if you are at university and do not even have a fixed source of income. So hate it as you might, you should consider your budget first and then decide about the kind of car you plan to buy. Do not buy a car where you cannot put down at least 20% as down payment, since this is a vehicle that is definitely out of your league. Remember that there are insurance bills, taxes and other expenses apart from the cost of the car that are involved in buying a car.
Buy a new or a used car: Buying a used car is a good option for someone who is buying their first car provided you do your research well. There are a large number of good used cars that are put up for sale everyday, and with a little patience and research, you can easily find one that fits both your budget and your style. Consult websites and reference publications like the Kelley Blue Book or the Edmunds Guide to find out the market value of used cars so that you do not get cheated by a dealer or a private owner. Try to avoid dealers and buy from either private owners or at auctions. Before you buy a used car, get the car checked by a mechanic and its papers and title checked by someone who knows everything about car titles in order to ensure a great buy. New cars are always better than old ones, provided you can afford one easily and are not too worried about depreciation.
Know the cost of keeping the vehicle: The cost of keeping a car or truck is much more than the cost of owning a vehicle. Remember that apart from yearly insurance, you will have to pay for gas, servicing, repairs and spares. Even the best vehicles need repairs at one time or the other, and knowing the cost of certain spare parts can actually put you off buying certain makes or models. While insurance varies from model to model, it also varies greatly from company to company. So shop around till you manage to get the most cost effective quote for insuring your vehicle. You may also need to invest in an extended auto warranty, especially if you are a buying a car with costly repair and spare parts. Since gas is going to be a weekly expense, go for a car that gives you good mileage and calculate the total cost of running and maintaining a vehicle before buying it.