Buying your first car is an important and much-awaited decision, especially if you are a teenager. Not only does buying your own car entail freedom, but it also brings a lot of responsibilities to the table. In addition to the expenses, you will also need to take care of repairs, maintenance, insurance, fuel costs, and so on.
Before you head down to the car dealership to purchase your very own set of wheels, there are a few things that you need to consider carefully in order to make the right purchasing decision.
We have compiled a list of essential car-buying tips to ensure that you take an informed decision. Let’s take a look.
1. Establish a Reasonable Budget
First of all, you need to have a clear idea about how much you can afford for your first car. This amount should include the down payment as well as the installment amount you can reasonably afford every month. Apart from that, expenses for fuel and maintenance are going to be added to the list as well. These will help you determine which car to buy.
Apart from that, you would also need to spend money for adding the necessary accessories like number plates to your car. Going for inexpensive private number plates can be an excellent option.
Considering the total cost, an expensive car may not be the best choice. The best way to save money is by buying a used car since financing is usually a challenge for teenagers.
Before deciding which car to buy, identify the purpose. Will you be commuting long distances? Are you planning to use this car till high school or through college? These will determine how reliable the car should be. Therefore, it is important to set realistic targets while establishing the budget.
2. Make a list of the Target Vehicles
With your budget working as an effective filter for choosing the right car, it is time to shortlist the cars that seem to be practical choices. Hatchbacks and small and medium-sized sedans are popular and reliable choices among teenagers.
Now go through the features of the cars to determine the ones that best suit your requirements. A fuel-efficient car is the best choice for teenagers. Apart from this, look for proper safety features like GPS navigation, anti-lock brakes, airbags, electronic stability control, etc. Keep in mind that high-tech features are not the ones that you need.
Once you have sorted through the features that you need, make a list of the cars that cover these. This will help you narrow down your search.
3. Inspect Thoroughly
The next step is to thoroughly inspect the car and find out any faults that may restrict your driving or increase your expenses. This is especially true if you are buying a used car. In that case, you should enquire about the car’s history, maintenance records, records of accidents and their repairs, and so on. You can also consider getting a used car inspected by a professional mechanic or any car-savvy person you can rely on.
Check the interior and the exterior of the car thoroughly and inspect the tires. Perform the inspection in broad daylight since this will help you identify any faults. The idea is to check whether the car is in the condition that the seller claims.
4. Test Drive
Test driving is the most exciting part of buying a car. However, instead of getting caught up in the moment, it is wise to drive the way you normally would and on the kind of road that you would usually take. This will help you find out faults that may not appear while inspecting the car.
It is wise to take an adult along with you since s/he will be able to point out problems that you may not notice.
5. Negotiate Well
When you have chosen the car you wish to buy it is time to negotiate the price to get the best deal. You can consider taking an adult with you for this purpose. A professional car salesperson might push you to pay the highest possible price. Do not get too easily convinced. Before negotiating the price, it is advisable to research prices online so that you have an idea about how much you should pay.
If you have any queries, you can always ask the salesperson to clear your doubts.
These tips will help you make the best decision for purchasing your car. Even though it can be a laborious process, the final result is going to be quite rewarding.