Buying your first car can be an emotional and difficult decision. You want the best possible car to remember for the rest of your life as your first buy. One should themselves ask several questions before buying a car, but here are the top 5 questions to consider:
1. What is your price range?
As you may have heard, money can not buy happiness. Well, try telling that to a car fanatic sitting in a Tesla Roadster hitting 0-60 in under two seconds. Everybody wants the best car suited to their needs. A student may want a sports car, whereas a 50-year-old may have his heart set on a new Rolls Royce. But the real question for both of them is, “Can I afford it?” As a result, it is crucial you determine your price range before you go to buy a car. You should know how much your pocket can tolerate before deciding to buy a vehicle. After deducting necessary costs such as mortgages and utilities, you should have enough money to finance your car. Wealth managers on Wall Street suggest no more than 22% of your income should be used on a vehicle. This is crucial for making a decision. The last thing you want to be is broke!
2. Consider Car Loans/Financing
The ease in buying a car today is truly a blessing. You don’t have enough money to pay it all in one go? No problem. Pay in installments! Not everyone can afford to buy a car at its full price. As a result, many banks and credit unions offer car leases and car loans. Suppose you want to buy a $20,000 car, if you opt to pay in installments for 5 years, you can finance the car for as low as 300-350$ a month. Obviously, the total cost of this option is higher, but the ease this option provides for you as a salaried individual is worth the extra $1200-$1500 you pay over the period of 5 years.
3. Assess your needs
It is of paramount importance that you assess your needs before buying a car. Every individual uses their car differently. Someone may want to buy a car for their family, and thus may need a 4 door car. Whereas, one person may want to buy an extra car just for racing purposes. Now, it goes without saying, if you are going buying a family car, your best option maybe a sedan or a van. Suppose you live in a mountainous area, then you may want to consider a pick-up truck with great suspensions. The list goes on and on. Therefore, you should always consider what are your uses, and needs.
4. Get the car inspected if it’s a used car
If you can, there’s no debate whether you should buy a used car or a new one. The victor is always the latter. However, due to unavailability of a vehicle or budget constraints, people opt for a used car. These cars are usually available at a 30-40% discount from their original price after 3 years of being used. That may seem attractive, but there’s a catch. The major cost applied to the car is depreciation. It occurs because of wear and tear of an asset. You would definitely not want to deal with any problems after buying the car. Therefore, it is critical that you have it inspected by an expert or a mechanic. This will help in understanding if the car has undergone any major repair or there may be some red flags to look out for. Some details can not be understood by a common man; therefore it is important that you have a professional inspect it before you buy.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for a test drive!
You should know what you are buying. Just like you go to a new ice-cream parlor and try flavours before deciding, ask the dealer to let you have a test drive of the car that you want to buy. Some dealers may get irked if you ask them to let you drive two or more cars. So the best way around that is to take a test drive of different cars from different dealers. Not only will this clear any confusion and doubts from your mind, but also give you a real feel of what it is like to drive the car you want. Is the car fast enough? Is the handling good? Is the drive smooth? All these questions will be answered for you by you. There is no better way to be fully sure of buying a car than testing it.
These are some of the most important tips that you should keep at the back of your head when you are out to buy your first car. We are sure if you do so, and answer each question honestly, you won’t be disappointed.