Guide to Buying Your First Car

Buying a can indeed be so much exciting. People can consider it to be a big decision in one’s life. And like any major life decision, purchasing a car entails a great deal of planning. There will be a lot of things you need to manage. So planning is essential because it can make the process go more smoothly and guarantee you get the best car for your needs.

When researching a car, do you ever feel overwhelmed or unclear about what to do next? Here’s a guide to making your car-buying process as painless as possible. 

Identify your Buying Budget

The value of a new car might be overwhelming, especially if you are still a teenager with a limited budget. Even the cost of the cheapest new cars may seem unfeasible to purchase. However, thanks to today’s financing alternatives and the availability of high-quality secondhand vehicles, buying a car is now possible.

Begin by determining a price range that you can afford. Your objective will appear much more feasible if you decide on a reasonable budget. Think of how much money you have in savings, how much money you make or can afford to pay monthly, and how you can save money to put toward a vehicle.

Before getting out a car loan, you should be aware that the actual cost of owning a car does not end with the purchase price. When making a budget, don’t forget to include car-related expenses. These expenses include yearly car insurance, car maintenance, fuel expense, parking expense, car wash, and toll fees. 

Assess your Needs and the Type of Car you Want to Buy

signing a contract, yellow folder, red car at the back

The first thing you need to ask yourself is, “What is the purpose of this car in my life?”

Is it for the sake of your family’s safety and comfort, so you won’t have to rely on public transportation when an emergency happens? Do you wish to impress clients or friends with a thrilling ride? Or will you primarily use it for long drives? Is it snowing, raining, or scorching hot where you live? Knowing your lifestyle demands and the driving circumstances you encounter most frequently allow you to narrow down the crucial specs and car models to consider.

Shop Around for Your Car

Shopping for a car is like looking for “the one.” Take as much time as you need to find the correct dealer/direct owner, price the unit, and thoroughly inspect it.

Purchasing a vehicle is now easier for beginners. Carousell and other online marketplaces provide you with a vast range of new and used car options. You will know who you deal with and have complete control over them by browsing ads and seller profiles, as well as full transparency on automobile characteristics (e.g., engine, mileage) to enable you to make a sensible decision.

Go on a Test Drive 

A test drive is crucial whether you’re buying a brand new car or a used car from a dealer or a private seller. Once you’ve slimmed it down to a few vehicles that might suit your demands and budget, take each for a spin to see how you feel and how they operate. Try to test drive all of the automobiles you’re thinking about on the same day so you can compare them easily. 

Test the car’s clutch, its performance, smooth gear shifts, high-speed driving, steering wheel vibrations, and most especially the brakes. You may also want to take your car to a spin on routes with tight turns, uneven roads, or highways to put it through its paces in both typical and challenging situations. 

Applying for Loans and Financing

Buying a car can be immensely expensive. Most people will apply for a car loan unless they already have a large sum of money set aside for this purchase.

There are three methods to go about it. It can be direct to the bank, through a car dealer’s in-house financing arm, or bank loan through a car dealer. Interest rates are about 6.56% p.a. for banks and payment terms (up to 5 years) differ by provider. 

When you apply for a car loan, it is best to choose a shorter payment term. Note that interest rates increase over time, and it may cause you to incur higher costs in the long term.

Seal the Deal

two people shaking hands, black long sleeves, blue background

Once you already know what car you want and secured the money, you may now seal the deal. When closing the transaction, concentrate on reading your contract thoroughly. Read the agreement for any hidden costs, taxes, fees, or other expenses associated with the purchase. 

Make sure you understand the conditions of any financing or warranty agreements before signing. Lastly, ensure that the seller gives you all the car’s paperwork, such as the owner’s manual, emissions test documentation, and inspection stickers.