The decision to buy your first car is an extremely exciting one. Finally, you have a vehicle to call your own that gives you an enormous sense of freedom and adventure. However, before you rush into anything, you need to make sure that you have done your research and your sums carefully.
The last thing that you want to happen is to get ripped off by a cocky car salesperson who sees you as a chance to make a quick buck. Well, in this blog post, we are going to take a look at seven of the most common first-time car buyer mistakes so that you can avoid falling into these same traps yourself.
Buying the Wrong Kind of Car
Think about the car you need and not just the car you want. For example, you don’t want to get a two-seater if it is likely that your family will be expanding over the next few years. Think about the car that is going to offer you plenty of luggage space rather than the one that you think is going to impress all your friends. When you are researching the type of vehicle that suits you best, look at all the practical features before you head down to the showroom. This way, you already have a great advantage.
Not Looking at Fuel Economy
The costs of a car go way beyond the amount you pay in the first place. And those regular trips to the gas station are all going to add up over time. However, they will become that little bit less regular if you buy a car that offers good fuel economy in the first place. Not only is this better for your wallet, it is also better for the environment as a whole.
Not Inspecting a Used Car Thoroughly
There is nothing wrong with buying a used car as it is a great way to save money. However, one of the big disadvantages is that it doesn’t come with the same assurances and guarantees as a new one. So, when you go to inspect a second-hand vehicle, you should check out all the features both inside and out to make sure that you are 100 percent happy. If you don’t really know cars yourself, it is certainly worth bringing along someone who does.
Buying to Impress
What does your first car need to do when you really think about it? It needs to be reliable and get you where you are going; it also needs to be big enough for your requirements…and that’s pretty much it! There are all kinds of upgrades out there which don’t do much to the functionality, so ask yourself whether it is worth paying more to get them if you are unlikely to use them?
Thinking of a Car as an Investment
Just because you spend a lot of money getting a car in the first place, this doesn’t mean that it is an investment. We have already talked about the amount that you have to spend going to the gas station, but how about insurance? Always do some researching and searching as there may be a cheaper car insurance policy for you out there. Also, almost any car that you buy will drop significantly in value after only a couple of years. Once you see car-buying as an expense rather than an investment, you will start to see the full financial picture.
Not Negotiating on Price
When you are not used to negotiating, the concept of doing this to buy a car may seem a little strange. But the price you get on the sticker is rarely set in stone and all sellers are expecting at least a little bit of negotiation. If you don’t do this, you could easily end up getting ripped off. Just a few minutes of research on the internet can arm you with the information that you need to successfully reduce the amount that you are spending.
Getting Talked into Dealer Financing
The main problem with dealer financing is that it is likely to be significantly higher than you could get elsewhere. Don’t get talked into anything until you are sure that you are getting a good deal. You could even get pre-qualified by an online lender, credit union, or bank before you go out car shopping.
Now that you know some of the most common mistakes out there, you can avoid them all when you come to buying a car for the first time.