Buying your very first car can be an exciting milestone, but it’s also an expensive purchase that you’ll want to carefully think about before you make any final decisions. You’ll have a lot to consider, such as whether you’ll be financing a car or buying a car in cash. In the end, you’ll want to be happy with your choice, and pick a car that is affordable and practical at the same time. There are a lot of things that can easily be overlooked if you’ve never bought a car before, so if you’re getting ready to make a purchase in the near future, keep the following in mind:
Check your credit
If you’ll be financing your purchase, you’ll want to pull your credit report first to see where you stand, and make sure you have good credit. If there are any negative marks on your credit report, you may want to hold off until they are removed. If your credit score isn’t very good, you might have a difficult time getting approved—at least for a reasonable interest rate. If you have a cosigner and/or large down payment, however, it will increase your chances (not to mention, lower your car payments).
As someone purchasing a vehicle for the first time, you won’t have another car to trade in and put towards your new car purchase. Although you may be able to finance your car purchase with little to no money down, having a larger down payment will lower your car payments. If you save up enough, you could always consider purchasing a car in cash and without financing it at all. Even if you don’t have a very big car budget, purchasing a car in cash is a realistic possibility if you purchase a used vehicle that is modestly priced. If you haven’t established credit yet and no one can cosign for you, this might be your only viable option, so it’s never too soon to begin saving as much as you can.
Used vs. new
Another thing you’ll need to think about is whether you’ll be purchasing a used car or a new car. This will depend on your budget, whether you’re financing or purchasing a car in cash, and what you need in a car. If you’ve got your sights set on a brand new car, purchasing a model that’s gently used and just a year older will save you some money, so this is obviously one huge benefit of purchasing a used car. Instead of deciding right away on one option, explore them both and see what’s out there.
Dealership vs. private sale
If you make the decision to purchase a pre-owned vehicle, you’ll then have to decide whether you’ll buy a car directly from a private seller or if you’ll purchase at a dealership. It certainly doesn’t hurt to explore both options just to see what’s out there, but carefully consider the pros and cons of each, and don’t rush your decision. You might be able to get a better deal if you buy a used car from a private seller, but you might receive more protection by purchasing a car from a local dealership.
Buying a car is supposed to be fun, but it’s important not to get caught up in the excitement and overlook the more important things. It may not be the most exciting thing to do, but you’ll also want to consider a car’s gas mileage, safety features, and so on.
Test drive different cars
Always test drive a car before you buy it, and don’t hesitate to test drive all of the different cars you’re considering. This can give you a true feel for how the car runs and can make it easier for you to make a decision. The last thing you want to do is purchase a car before you got a chance to drive it, only to find out you’re unhappy with the performance. This is especially true with used cars, as you’ll want to make sure that everything seems to be running okay.
Do you need extra money to buy a car? Whether for your down payment or to purchase a car in cash, Peachtree Financial Solutions may be able to help. If you’re receiving long-term payments from an annuity or structured settlement, you may be able to sell some or all of your future payments for a lump sum of cash. Contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today to learn more and to receive your free quote.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.