Your Finance Guide: How to Buy a Car for the First Time

Roughly 17 million cars and light trucks are sold every year in the United States.

If you’re looking to purchase your first car, you’re about to own something the defines the American lifestyle. Buying a car, especially for the first time, is an exciting time. You can’t wait to get behind the wheel of your new ride and take it for a spin.

However, this is the time you’re prone to making car buying mistakes. To help you out, we are sharing a helpful guide on how to buy a car for the first time.

Join in on the ride!

Understand Your Needs

A mistake some first-time car buyers make is focusing on the financial side of things instead of taking time to understand their needs. When you know your needs, you’re more likely to find a car that meets those needs.

Start by evaluating what you will be using the car. Look at your lifestyle.

For example, if you are a full-time college student, you need a car that will enable you to commute from your residence to your school. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you need a car that can go outdoors.

Also, look at the size of your family. If you have a big family, you ideally want a car that can comfortably seat the entire family.

With a clear picture of your needs, you can narrow down the type of car you need to buy. It will be clear that you need either a sedan, van, pickup truck, sports vehicle or SUV.

Get Your Finances in Order

The average cost of a new car is $46,000. This isn’t a small sum of money by any means.

It’s prudent to ensure your finances are in order before you start hunting for your first car. How much can you afford? Don’t just look at the car’s purchase price. You must also factor in associated costs, such as insurance, maintenance, and repairs.

If you’re planning the car in cash, ensure you have the funds before you hit the dealerships. Note that buying a car outright gives you a clear title, which you can use to get a vehicle registration loan if need be. Check out for more information.

And if you’re taking out an auto loan like most people, get pre-approved for the loan first. If your credit score is bad, you might want to rebuild it before you apply for an auto loan; otherwise, you could get high interest rates that will increase your cost of car ownership.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to buy a new car if finances are a problem. Used cars are cheaper, but you have to put extra effort into finding a quality car. Plus, not all lenders offer financing for used cars.

Buy from a Reputable Dealership

A dealership can make or break your car buying experience. Some dealerships are full of dishonest salespeople who can pressure you into taking a bad deal or buying a car that you didn’t want in the first place.

Research various dealerships in your area before you make a physical visit. They should allow you to test drive the vehicle and have it checked by your mechanic (especially if it’s a used car) if you so wish.

How to Buy a Car for the First Time Made Easy

Buying a car is a big financial step. Don’t make costly mistakes by driving home with a car that doesn’t meet your needs or isn’t within your financial capability. Use this guide on how to buy a car for the first time and you’ll make good decisions.

Keep tabs on our blog for more car ownership and motoring tips.