Buying your first car is an important and much-awaited decision for most teenagers. Not only does buying your own car give you increased freedom, but it also brings new responsibilities to the table. In addition to the initial expense, you will also need to take care of any future repairs, maintenance, insurance, fuel costs and so on.
Before you head down to the car dealership to purchase your very own set of wheels, there are a few things that you need to consider carefully in order to make the right purchasing decision.
We have compiled for you, a list of essential tips to ensure that you make an informed decision. Let’s take a look at these.
Establish a Reasonable Budget
First of all, you need to have a clear idea about how much you can initially afford for your first car. This should include the deposit payment as well as the monthly instalments you can reasonably afford. You then need to consider ongoing expenses for fuel and vehicle maintenance. These costs for each vehicle will help you determine which car to buy.
In addition to the above, you will also need to spend money on essential accessories like number plates to your car. Inexpensive private number plates can be the best option to stay within your budget.
Considering the total cost, an expensive, high value car may not be the best choice. In many instances the best way to save money is to buy a used car without finance as quite often securing finance can be a challenge for teenagers.
Before deciding which car to buy, identify the purpose you are looking to fulfil. Will you be commuting long distances? Are you planning to use the car till high school or through college? These will determine how long the car needs to be reliable. It is very important to set realistic targets when establishing your budget.
Make a List of Your Target Vehicles
With your budget working as an effective filter for choosing the right car, it is time to shortlist the cars that seem to be practical choices. Hatchbacks and small and medium-sized sedans are popular and reliable choices for the majority of teenagers.
Now go through the features of the cars to determine those that best suit your requirements. A fuel-efficient car is the best choice for teenagers where budgets are generally a concern. Additionally, look for safety features like distance control, anti-lock brakes, airbags, electronic stability control etc. Keep in mind that high-tech features like digital dashboards are not essential.
Once you have sorted through the features that you genuinely need, make a list of the cars that provide these. This will help you narrow down your search.
The next step is to thoroughly inspect the car and find out any faults that may restrict you driving or increase vehicle running costs. This is particularly relevant when buying a used car. For used cars you should check and enquire about the car’s history, its maintenance records, any records of accidents and their repairs and so on. You can also consider getting a used car inspected by a professional mechanic or a car-savvy person you can trust.
Check the interior and the exterior of the car thoroughly and inspect the tyres. Always perform an inspection in broad daylight as this will assist you in identifying any faults. The idea is to check whether the car is in the condition that the seller claims it to be in.
Test driving is the most exciting part of buying a car. However, instead of getting caught up in the moment, it is wise to drive the way you normally would and on the kind of road that you would usually take. This will help you find out faults that may not appear while inspecting the car.
It is wise to take an experienced driver with you since s/he will be able to point out problems that you may not notice when driving.
When you have chosen the car you wish to buy it is time to negotiate the price to get the best deal. You need to consider taking an experienced adult with you for this purpose. A professional car salesperson will try to push you into paying the highest possible price. Do not allow yourself to be easily convinced. Before negotiating the price, it is advisable to research prices online so that you have an idea about how much you should be paying.
If you have any queries, you can always ask the salesperson to clear any doubts you may have and if they can’t then you need to take this into consideration. We believe these tips will help you make the best decision when purchasing your first car. Even though it can be a rather laborious process, the final result is going to be rewarding.