7 Tips for Buying Your First Car
7 Tips for Buying Your First Car
Now that you’re ready to buy your first car, there are probably a lot of questions that you don’t have the answers to. That’s why we put together these seven tips to help you with this big step in your life.
Features: Must Have vs. Like to Have
The first decision is to decide what you definitely want in your new car, such as body style (sedan, coupe, SUV), size, economical to operate (gas mileage), safety features, etc. Once that is decided, are there optional features that you might like to have? What about a new car or a late-model pre-owned one? The main advantages to a new model are the fact that it is new – you’re not buying someone else’s preferences or problems – and it comes with a bumper-to-bumper multi-year/mileage warranty. The down sides, however, are the significantly higher price and that new vehicles depreciate as soon as you drive them off the dealer’s lot. A late-model, low mileage car will cost much less than a new one and may still have time and miles left on the manufacturer’s warranty. Many used car dealers offer a variety of coverage options for extended warranties. Also, insurance costs are lower for pre-owned vehicles than they are for their brand-new counterparts.
Financing vs. Cash Deal
It is rare these days for most people to buy a car outright with cash. The reason being they do not have the available funds to do so. That leaves getting a car loan as the only practical way to buy the car. Financing is often done through a bank or credit union, or the dealer may be able to arrange the loan for you. But before going to a dealership, you should figure out how much of a down payment you can make and how much you can afford to pay monthly. These are very important because the amount of money you put down will directly affect how much the loan will be and the term and amount of your monthly payments. When figuring out what you can afford to pay each month it’s always a good idea to estimate a little lower just in case an unexpected expense occurs one month. And when estimating your monthly car payments don’t forget insurance and maintenance costs.
Your Credit Score Matters
A major factor in determining the loan amount you can qualify for, the term of the loan, and the interest rate of your loan, is your credit history and score. Obviously a higher the score will enable you to get a larger loan at a lower interest rate. So, before you go to any dealership, it’s best to know t is your current credit score is. There are many free sites that offer the service of checking your credit, and you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three main credit reporting agencies. If you haven’t had much, or even any, experiences with loans and credit cards, you may find it difficult to qualify for a car loan through most banks. Many used car dealerships, however, have financing options available for those with little or no credit history and low credit scores. At G&E Motors, we pride ourselves on having helped many hundreds of customers with all levels of credit ratings get the vehicles that best fit their needs, with affordable financing.
Look for the Best Deal by Shopping Around
Once you have decided on the type of car you want, the features, and maybe even the brand, it’s time to find out what’s available by doing online research. You may find exactly what you’re looking for but it may not be within your reach financially. If that’s the case, you may have to make adjustments to your ideal vehicle’s age, mileage, or features. At G&E Motors, our team is always ready to help you find a vehicle that best matches your preferences with your budget.
No Haggle or Negotiable
All car dealers establish the price of each of their vehicles based on the amount spent to purchase them, plus operating costs and the amount of profit they want to make on the sales. While some dealerships have a no-haggle policy whereby the prices are fixed with no willingness to modify the price for any reason, there are many who are still prepared to do a certain amount of negotiations on the price. There’s also the possibility of a dealer maintaining the price but throwing a few extras to close the sale. The important thing to keep in mind is whether the vehicle is priced at a fair amount. This is easy to determine by checking internet sites such as Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds to find the fair market value of the car or cars you may be interested in. This will help you determine if a price is reasonable or if you think there is enough room for the dealer to accept a lower offer.
Make Sure You Test Drive the Vehicle Before Buying
So you decided on the car; the color, make, model, trim, are all good, and the price is reasonable and affordable. Are you done? Not Yet! You should always get a sense of how the car runs and feels before you sign on the dotted line. You may be familiar with a particular make and model but each car may have slight variances from each other. You also want to test drive the vehicle to make sure your comfortable driving it, and there are no issues or concerns. If you hear unfamiliar noises make sure the dealer checks it out. Also, find out if there is a warranty provided and what options are available for an extended warranty.
Check the CarFax Before You Buy
You have seen the commercial with the fox telling you to check the CarFax Report. Well, there’s a good reason to get that report. Before you buy a car, you want to know if the car has been serviced regularly, been in any serious accidents, was flooded, has had multiple owners, and so on. The dealership may tell you these things themselves, but you want to make sure that what you were told matches the CarFax Report.
As mentioned before, here at G&E Motors we try to work with everyone. We do not discriminate against people who have bad credit or no credit history. Our professional staff is ready to help you find the vehicle that best matches your needs, with affordable financing that’s within you budget. All of our vehicles have gone through a 115-Point Inspection by our in-house technicians, come with a 30-Day or 1000-Mile Warranty, and a free CarFax Report.