Buying your first car is a daunting experience. You’re inundated with choices, features, add-ons, price variations, insurance and loan details, just to name a few – there’s a lot to think about.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing though and, as we all look back on our first car purchases, there are a few minor details we wish we had thought of before spending our hard earned cash on four-wheels and a steering wheel.
So, here are our handy top five tips to think about before you buy your first new car.
1. Think about the features you really want.
It’s easy to get talked in to all the new bells and whistles, so make sure you’re ready with a list of the features you really want in your car, and anything extra that still fits within your budget is a bonus. There’s no point spending an extra few thousand dollars on voice activated windows if they’re not really a priority (note: voice activated windows aren’t yet a thing).
2. Stick to your budget
Work out exactly what you can afford to spend per month, and don’t stray from this budget. Cars depreciate pretty quickly, and there’s no point stretching your day-to-day living for a car that serves the exact same purpose as the slightly smaller one you could have got for a cheaper price tag.
3. Do your research on price and deals available.
The more research you do before walking in to the dealership, the better off you’ll be. When a salesperson tells you he’s given you $3000 off the cost of your car, it may sound like a great deal, but imagine the feeling you’ll get when you leave the dealership and drive past another only to see they’re selling the same car for a lower cost still. Go in armed.
4. Don’t be shy
The trick to any good bargain is confidence. Don’t be persuaded in to something you know isn’t quite right. The dealers have a job to do, and that’s to make a profit but just as they see it as a business transaction. Ask to drive the car, or cars, ask about add-ons and other features and options.
5. Don’t rush it
Take your time. Chances are you don’t need a car yesterday – you’ve managed to get by this long without a car, you can hold out for a couple more days. Take your time to make sure you’re making the right choice. This is a handy trick when buying anything – walk away, give yourself a couple of days to think about it and then make a decision. It helps take the emotion out of the purchase.