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5 Useful Car Buying Advice for First-Timers

Buying your first car guide

How’s it going? Have you decided to buy your first car? Will it be new or used?

If you are still on a roller coaster or overwhelmed with the car buying process and experience, do not fret – most of us have been in the same boat.

Buying your first car is an exciting experience, and some people consider it a milestone in life. You don't always have to buy a new vehicle either.

In this article, you’ll learn useful car buying advice that you should know, especially for first-time car buyers to help find the car you want.

Let’s get to it!

Define your budget

Ask yourself this: How much can you spend on a used or new car?

Make sure to establish your budget before going off to buy your first car. Car buying is one of the biggest financial decisions in your life. You should be prepared to pay for car insurance costs, maintenance, and other unexpected expenses.

On the other hand, if you are not ready to pay for the car in cash, you can sign up for a car loan through your bank or a lending company. Often dealers have much better finance rates than a bank.

Here are a few pointers that can guide in budgeting for your first car:

  • Allocate 20% for the deposit payment.
  • The monthly car payment should not be more than 15% of your take-home pay.
  • Make sure to pay off the car within 60 months, at most.


Spend some time to research the car that interests you. Find out the essential details such as insurance, payment schemes, rebates, financing, etc.

It would help if you looked into these things on your research:

  • Price: It not only includes allocating budget for buying the car but also other related expenses such as maintenance and car insurance, stamp duty and registration costs.
  • Features: Is there a particular feature that you want? What car size would you prefer?
  • Fuel Efficiency: The fuel economy is an essential factor when choosing a car. You don’t want to own a vehicle that is too expensive to run.
  • Safety: Look for safety features that suit your needs. These include airbags, seatbelts, shatter-resistant glass, mirrors, and more.

Lastly, if you want to sound cool when negotiating for your first car, ask about extended warranty and tiny options.

Look at other options.

Do not bite at the first option – take time to look at other vehicles, as well! It is a common mistake most first-time car buyers commit.

It is an instinct to grab the first thing that you see as it saves you time. However, you could be missing something!

There are several deals for new and used cars in the market. Luckily, you don’t need to go out – the information that you need is available online.

You need to find them – look everywhere and expand your car buying options.

Anyway, you can always turn to your list of makes and models options if negotiation did not go well with the dealer.

Shop around.

Explore your options before buying your first car – it is the golden rule every first-time car buyer should know.

Shop around before you buy. Compare the prices of every dealership store that you visit. Take a family member or friend with you to bounce questions off.

Dealership price varies depending on the location. Start “shopping around” at the dealership store within your area.

In that way, you can easily check with them or set an appointment for queries.


Give the dealer a hint about the offers from other dealerships. Letting them know about their competitors can make them offer you a better deal.

Test drive.


Let’s move to the exciting part!

Seeing the car is not enough to justify its condition - another vital point first car buyers should know. You need to test drive it!

Pay attention to comfort. Make sure that you feel safe and comfortable while driving.

Here are a few things that you should look for while taking the test drive:

  • Comfort: Is it easy to get into the car? Did you bump your head? Make sure the steering wheel feels light for comfortable driving.
  • Visibility: Can you see clearly where you’re heading, particularly look for the blind spots? There are cars with full rim windows, which decreases driving visibility.
  • Brakes: Make sure the brakes are working.
  • Transmission: Is the clutch heavy? Was it difficult to change gears?
  • Maneuverability: The car should be easy to maneuver through curves and light turns. It should also accelerate well for easy merges onto the highway. It also needs to fit well in most parking places.
  • Cabin Noise: Is the car noisy when you’re driving? Do you need to shout while talking inside the car?
  • Control System and Electronic Features: Test the control system, including the vents, navigation system, camera, etc.

Final Word

There you have it – the 5 useful car buying advice to first-time car buyers!

If you apply all 5, I guarantee you’ll enjoy hunting and buying your first car.

Good luck, and enjoy your first car!

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