Whether you’d like to admit it or not, most of us are guilty of buying things on impulse. Feeling hungry? Buy a burger. Casually strolling around the mall? You’ll probably end up buying a new pair of shoes.
On the other hand, for some purchases, you need to do your homework, asking advice from some of your family or friends, and of course, saving money, especially when you’re considering buying your first car.
It’s not that hard to buy a car these days. If you have a steady job, a fair credit rating, and find a dealership that offers a reasonable down payment, there’s a good chance you can drive off the lot with a brand-new vehicle.
However, if you need a car but your credit isn’t looking as good as you’d want it to be, you can either borrow your parents’ car or rent to own a car.
Although you have many ways to own your very first set of wheels, you may still need to be practical and be level-headed about it. So, before you get carried away with pimping up your new ride with fancy seat covers and a blazing audio system, focus on the bigger picture first.
Do your homework. If you want to be in a good position, make sure you are well-informed. Have an idea of what kind of vehicle you want and how much it costs. Be honest when asking yourself these questions, “Can I really afford it?”, “How much am I willing to spend?”, “Should buy or lease?”, etc.
Be realistic. How’s your vehicle budget looking? If you’ve got a substantial discretionary budget, maybe it’s better for you to buy a new car outright, so you can save money on finance or interest charges. Alternatively, if you’ve got a smaller budget, maybe leasing a used vehicle is more suitable for you.
Spend wisely. Once you’ve bought your first set of wheels, your spending doesn’t stop there. When you go through your monthly budget, consider the expenses you need to add, like car insurance, fuel costs, parking fees, and maintenance costs, so plan your monthly budget accordingly.
Consider the type of vehicle. When you’re done searching for a car that fits your budget, you need to consider what type of car that is suitable for your daily activities and lifestyle, also how often you will you use it. For new car buyers, a sedan is typically your best choice. It is more fuel efficient and easier to drive around the city.
Determine the features you need. Safety must be on the top of your list. If you’re still not proficient when it comes to backing up or parking your car, consider having a car with parking aid sensors.
Don’t forget, excellent airbags are a must-have, and it’s great if your car has an anti-lock braking system, so you can still manoeuvre your vehicle after hitting the brakes at high speeds.
Learn proper car maintenance. Most new car owners often forget to read the owner’s manual. Spend time reading it as this will help you know the basics of your vehicle model, as well as getting tips on how to make your driving experience safer, more convenient, and knowing how to maximise your vehicle’s performance.
Moreover, it is essential to have a basic understanding of how your car works and know how to keep it in great shape. Be sure you regularly change your engine oil at least every three months to avoid problems later. Check your brakes, head and tail lights, replace your windshield wipers every six months, and keep a spare tyre handy.
If you know these things, you can save some money, get better gas mileage, and keep your car running well for a decent number of years. If you have some other useful tips to share, we’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.