As much as it is a life’s milestone to become a car owner, it can also be quite daunting to buy a car for the first time. Being a significant step towards one’s independence, there is a lot to consider. First-time car buyers need to outline significant aspects that will determine whether they’ll buy a car and how will they pay for it. The financial implications, as well as the quality and durability of one’s investment, are something the first-time car buyers need to be fully aware of. This might take the fun and joy out of this unique moment of owning the key to one’s own vehicle, but to be entirely sure the car will serve you, one should simply avoid the following blunders and ensure a smart, thought-through buy.
Lack of research
Just as you would do before a project, research in car-buying is just as essential as in any other significant decision. Many first-time car owners are susceptible to a mistake of not conducting enough research, which can be a rather costly mistake in the long run. The research phase is the homework for your car-owning project, so make sure to do it beforehand.
Embark on a journey through the world wide web and visit car dealership sites that can provide you with a copious amount of information that can be extremely helpful. Such information can point out the right fitting car models, the car reviews can help out in avoiding buying a tin can on wheels, and you can also learn a lot about pricing, rebates, incentives, and negotiating techniques. Play smart and do your research; awaken your inner nerd and don’t let anyone fool you, especially because this will be your first car.
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According to Experian, buying new, of course, seems appealing for numerous reasons; from the industrial smell of a newly built car, shiny and seamless seats, to the very sparkle of a fresh paint job and the sound of a new engine. However, sometimes new is not better than the old. Sure, buying a new car has its advantages, but for the first-time car owners, buying a new car seems just like a waste of money.
As soon as a new car drives off, its value automatically decreases. Few years after you’ve been driving your car, you can expect its value to drop for at least 40% of the initial cost. Not to mention that buying a, for example, a five-year-old car will have basically the same technology and safety-features as a brand-new car. Also, taking in consideration that this will be your first car, buying a used car can help you develop a feel for the vehicle and the road, as well as practice your driving skills. This can help you feel more comfortable buying a new car later on in your life.
Buying a new car can most of the times mean that you’ve just learned how to drive; which can make things even harder for first-time buyers. Not only do you have to adjust to driving someone else’s car, but you also need to be comfortable enough to operate in the first place. In order to check whether a vehicle fits you not only visually and financially, but also behind the wheel, you must go on a test-drive.
Many first-time car buyers disregard the importance of the test-drive, and they take it for granted. A test-drive can actually, according to Edmunds, give you a sense of how the car handles, how comfortable you are in it, whether you’re able to back up, drive on the highway, adjust the seats, have an appropriate visibility, and many other nuances you otherwise would not be able to notice. Before an actual test-drive, make sure to write down all the ‘must-have’ features, and refer to them during the drive.
No technical check-up
Before buying a car, probably the crucial and most important thing you can do is run the technical check-up list with your car dealer or salesperson. This will give you an overview of the things you should look out for, as well as the ways in which you could get fooled. Not undergoing a technical check-up can be quite a mistake, considering the safety and comfort of the car, as well as the cost of the repairs in the future.
Therefore, according to Rac Drive, there are several things first-time car buyers need to look out for: inspecting the tires and how much tread they got, the bodywork of the car, dents and scratches, panel gaps, fluid levels, the oil level, electrics (windows winding, air conditioning, etc.), upholstery, spare tire and accessories.
Disregarding Auto Finance Contract
The final, and one of the most critical steps in buying your first car is signing the auto finance contract. The common mistake first-time car buyers tend to do is disregard the contract and signing the bottom line without thinking of the implications and possible foolery. It is crucial to get the car, and in the car, everything you’ve asked for, because, after negotiating the vehicle options, you can easily see if there are any dealer-covered items on the bill that shouldn’t be there. It is always easy to sign the contract, but before you do that, make sure to spare a few minutes and read the auto finance contract thoroughly.