Must-Know Tips For First Time Car Buyers

Few things in life are more exciting than buying your first car. You take your time and save your down-payment, you carefully build a nice (beginners) credit report. Then you grab your checkbook and head for the car lots. This is an exciting time. But, there are things you need to know before you head for the lot. In this post, we will give you some good car buyers tips that will help you drive away in the right car, with the right payment.

Must-Know Tips For First Time Car Buyers 1

Photo credit: Dhiva Krisha

Calm down

The very first thing you have to do is control your enthusiasm. As soon as you enter the car lot, there will be people standing by the building watching. Before your foot hits the pavement, they are there trying to “help” you. These folks are very nice, very helpful, and professionals whose job it is to get you to spend the maximum amount that you qualify for.

These people share in your enthusiasm. They have all kinds of tips and bits of knowledge that they can do for you to get you into your dream car. This is where you should stop. Calm yourself. If you need to, ask them to step away and give you a few minutes. You should never make a large purchase based on excitement.

Must-Know Tips For First Time Car Buyers 2

Photo credit: Grahame Jenkins

Do not go alone

Take someone with you that has your best interest at heart. They should be mature and experienced in the way these things work. Their job is to keep you from exceeding what you can comfortably afford. You may not mind skimping on fun things like going out with your friends, or eating for a while. But by about the 4th month, PB&J gets a bit old.

Do your homework

Choose a few cars that you really like. Research them. Are they safe? Do they bring a good resale value? Do they come with all the options you want? Narrow it  down to a few specific models. Check Kelley Blue Book to see what the value of the car is and compare it to the price the dealer is offering. Take advantage of a driving guide that will help you immensely.

Do Not Buy New

You have heard it before. A new car begins to depreciate the moment you drive it off the lot. From that moment on, you will be unable to recover the price of the car if you decide to sell it or trade it in. You will get more for your money if you buy a car that is one or two years old. You get a beautiful and late model car at a bargain.

Featured Photo credit: Vlad Sorodoc

Arrange your own financing

Take the time to go to your bank. Tell them what you are planning to do. They can use the same information and give you a preapproved loan before you shop. Why does this matter? The car salesman will try to get you to buy something above what you can afford. They have contacts with finance companies that will finance a new loan and charge a lot of interest.

When you select a car, you will call the bank and they will tell you what the actual value of the car is. That is what they will loan you to buy that particular car. Negotiate by using that as leverage. A fair and honest car lot will help you find the right car at the right price. A dishonest salesman may make you think that their finance companies are able to do things that your bank will not.


Take your time and really think about the purchase you are about to make. Read the contracts carefully. Make sure you are buying and not leasing the car. Have the car inspected before you buy. If you follow these tips, you will make an educated purchase and get the most car for your money.