Buying your first car is like a right of passage. You knew it was coming and now you are excited and ready to buy your first car. Don’t get too excited, you need to keep your wits about you during the process of buying your first car. Up until now you probably used someone other person’s car or you live in a major city that did not require a car.
Many people absolutely hate going to buy a car and don’t have anything good to say about the whole process. It doesn’t have to be that way, usually these people have had a bad experience or perhaps they felt they were ripped off in the process. Buying your first car can be pleasant and enjoyable if you are ready for the experience.
The reason many young people ask for advice when buying their first car is because of the horror stories they have heard of car salesmen and car dealers tricks, lingo and scams. When have decide to purchase a new car for the first time the first thing you should do is establish a budget for your first car. Know how much you can afford and stick to that number. There is nothing worse than buying a car that requires you to make payments for 60 months that leave you stretched and stressed every month.
The process of buying a car for the first time can be an intimidating experience if you are not ready and do not know what to expect. Like I said earlier, determine the amount that you can reasonably afford and if you are going to finance that first car you need to do a little homework to determine your payments, insurance and taxes.
Car sales people are trained in the art of selling and have many skills and tricks to get you to follow their lead when you go to buy a car. They used to overcoming your objections and involving your emotions when making a decision to purchase your car. Your car salesman will do everything they can to get you to pay as much as possible because they get paid on commission. Their commission is based on the amount of profit they make for the car dealer when they sell you a car.
The best piece of advice I could give when going to purchase you first car is to take someone with you that has been through the car buying process. It could be a parent, friend or extended family member that has bought cars in the past and knows what to expect. Whether you are looking for a new or a used car, having and experienced car buyer with you that can coach you as an unemotional observer can save you thousands of dollars.
Before you head out to the dealer you should get online and look for cars in your price and payment range. One of the most reliable sources that I have found to give you both new and used car information is Edmunds.com (link opens in new window). Edmunds can provide you with competitive quotes from several nearby car dealers at no charge to you so you can be prepared before going out to the dealer.
Don’t be in a hurry when you start looking, you can go to several dealers and test drive each brand and model that your are considering. You are going to be driving this car everyday, so make sure it fits all your needs and you are comfortable with the ride, handling and feel of your first car. Buy a car by using your logic, not emotion. When you buy a car based on emotion it will cost you much more than you need to pay.
After you have shopped around for your first car and finally found the car that fits your needs and budget, it is time to negotiate. Negotiating the price of your first car with your salesman can save you thousands of dollars. The car dealer’s philosophy when pricing used cars is that most everybody wants to negotiate the price, so they will price the car higher and if you are willing to pay full price…GREAT. When it comes to new cars the car has a window sticker that will provide you with all the information about specifications and the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (M.S.R.P.).
Did you notice the word suggested, that is because the dealer will be very happy to sell you a car at full retail price if you don’t want to negotiate. As I mentioned earlier Yahoo! Autos can provide you with new car pricing and they will show you what dealer invoice is on that car. Knowing what the dealer pays for the car can be very helpful when negotiating.
Many manufacturers offer a first time car buyer discount, make sure your check with your sales person. This discount comes from the manufacturer and has no impact on the car dealers profit, so they are willing to provide it without a hassle. But you have to ask.
There are several other posts that you should read on this blog before going out and buying your first car. The amount of time you spend doing your homework and reading up on what to expect from the car dealer and salesman can save you thousands of dollars. It is your money, you should spend it the way you want. Do your homework. If you are financing your first car make sure you check out the financing section to save big money.