Tips to Help You Buy Your First Car

Purchasing your very first car is a heady experience. The sheer excitement of considering all the different makes and models and looking at different features can be a lot of fun. At the same time, it is important to keep your feet firmly on the ground and remember that you do have to make the selection with a few guidelines in mind. Doing so will make it easier to focus attention on the vehicles you can afford and ultimately select the one that is right for you.

New or Used?

One of your first decisions has to do with going with a new or used vehicle. In many instances, the state of your finances will dictate which approach is necessary. Simply put, if you don’t have much in the way of established credit and aren’t making enough money to afford the payments on a new car, going with a good quality used one is a better approach. If you are making plenty of money and can afford the payments on something new, then feel free to look at the latest models.

Along with the amount of the monthly payment on the auto loan, you also want to think in terms of the cost of auto insurance. Even if you are under the age of 25, you will still be able to command lower rates on a vehicle that is a couple of years old versus the insurance premiums for a brand new automobile. Unless you are making enough money to manage the insurance payments along with the auto loan payments, going with a used vehicle just makes sense.

What Features Do I Want?

There is a good chance you have very definite ideas about the features you want on that first car. It never hurts to have a list that includes specifics about the engine size, mileage, fuel efficiency and other important aspects. You will probably also want certain features such as a good quality sound system, superior suspension, and comfortable seats. In most parts of the country, a reliable air conditioning system will also be a plus.

As you think about different features, try to divide the list into two parts. One section will focus on features you consider absolutely essential. The other section will include anything you would like but could live without if necessary. As you look at different makes and models, focus your attention on automobiles that have all the essentials and at least some of the other benefits you would like.

How Much Can I Afford to Spend?

Since you will probably have to finance the purchase of that first vehicle, it is important to make sure you can afford to own and operate it. This means you want to make sure you have enough money coming in to make the loan payment every month without fail. You will also want to make sure you can afford the insurance premiums associated with the vehicle. Don’t forget to take into consideration factors such as the cost of replacement parts, and how much fuel the vehicle will use on a daily basis.

What this means is that along with trying to get something that is attractive and will make you feel good, you also must be practical. Choosing something within your means may mean settling for now, but see it as an investment in your future. After all, you still want to have enough money left after automobile expenses to have food in the fridge and be able to pay the rent. If the upkeep on the vehicle is going to make it hard to pay your other bills, ownership is just not worth it.

Comparing Financing Options

After finding a car that has most of the features you want and seems to be in your price range, there is the matter of securing financing. In many instances, the dealer will have financing plans in place. While it may be tempting to simply go with the dealer financing, take the time to compare the plan with options offered by other lenders.

For example, see what your bank can do for you in the way of an auto loan. You may find that it is possible to lock in a lower rate of interest and possibly avoid some of the ancillary charges that are in the dealer financing. Look closely at the amount of the monthly payment and the number or payments it will take to settle the loan in full. After you compare several different loans, go with the one that offers the lowest overall cost to you.

This post is brought to you on behalf of Performance Ford Lincoln, your car dealership in Windsor Ontario.

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