Guide for First Time Car Buyers

Buying a car can be a stressful event particularly if you’re doing it for the first time. Unless you’re a millionaire, it involves more than just buying the car of your dreams. There are factors to consider such as getting a good price, researching Toronto insurance prices and finding the car that best meets your needs. Below is a guide for first time car buyers. 

Get the Car to Fit the Person

Believe it or not, all cars are not created equal. They may be created equal, but they’re not a one-size fits all. In the same way that a single person probably wouldn’t want a seven-passenger van, a large person would not purchase a small sub-compact car. Buy a car that fits the person or people that will spend most of the time driving it. 

If you’re buying your teenage son or daughter his or her first car, you might want to buy a reliable used car. They may have their mind set on a fancy sports car like the new Dodge Charger, but it would not be a practical choice. However, this would be a great vehicle for an adult with driving experience. Cars that are classified as sports cars tend to warrant higher insurance premiums, and most teenagers can’t afford the insurance. 

Check Your Budget

Before you even begin shopping for a car, whether new or used, it’s important that you know your budget. Fewer things are more disappointing then to find the car of your dreams only to discover you can’t afford the payments. Know if you’re paying cash for the vehicle or if you’ll need financing. Once you’ve determined that you’ll need financing, establish a budget so you know how much you’ll need for down payment and what your expenses will be. When determining expenses, include not only car payments but also fuel and insurance. 

Do Your Research

If you already have it in your head that there’s a specific car you want to buy, do your research and look at reviews. Just because you like the appearance of certain car doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good car or that it will service you well. Many online sites offer reviews of cars. 

The reviews are generally from consumers who have had that particular car and are willing to share their experiences with you. Some of the features most important to check are reliability, mpg and infotainment features. You’ll also find helpful information on vehicles that may be available in or near your area. 

Safety Features

Don’t underestimate the importance of getting a car with as many safety features as possible. Unless you’re purchasing a very old car, you’re going to find many cars with important safety features. Some of the features Consumer Reports feels are important are:

  • •Antilock brake system
  • •Electronic stability control
  • •Head-protecting side airbags
  • •Forward-collision warning

Other features you’ll find on new cars are cameras, danger warning sensors and automatic seatbelts. Many of these features will also give you discounts on your insurance premiums. 

Know Your Credit

With the price of vehicles today, most people obtain financing when they purchase a vehicle. It can be very disappointing to find the car you want to buy and visit a lender only to discover there is something on your credit report that you didn’t know existed. It could be an error, a past bill that you forgot to pay, or even a bill that was paid but never removed from your credit. Before you visit a lender for financing, get a copy of your credit report so you can see if everything on it is accurate. 

Consumers are entitled to get a free credit report each year, so take advantage of this opportunity. If there are errors or you have concerns, make sure you take care of the errors before you visit the lender. The higher your credit score, the better your chances are of not only getting financing but also getting the best possible interest rates. 

Shopping for your very first car may be stressful, but it can also be a very exciting and rewarding experience. Get everything in order and make the most of this opportunity.

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