How to Choose Your First Perfect Car

Buying a first car is an exciting event for everyone from high school student who had just gotten their driver’s license to people who decided their need their own car. However, without research and thorough preparation, the excitement can become frustration and disappointment. If you don’t have a lot of people who can aid you in your car-searching quest, we have compiled the most important factors you should consider when shopping for your first ride. In this article, we’re going to share some tips on how to pick your first car.

Consider Your Budget

While this point may sound obvious, you may want to make the budget the first and foremost factor to consider. This will help you instantly narrow your search, and therefore, make it easier. Research financing plans and whether you will be able to take a loan. However, budget considerations do not stop at buying the car. Research average maintenance cost, the availability of spare parts on the market, and if your future car has special requirements, such as premium fuel. It is also a good idea to look up insurance costs for your future car. If you are low on budget, it makes sense to start with a small car that consumes less fuel, easier to maintain and is cheaper to insure. Look for popular models, as it is more likely that spare parts are more available for these cars. 

Decide On Used Or New

For many, this point may sound rather like a budget question, but this point is actually more completed and is worth thinking through. Of course, there are many advantages of buying a new car — for example, new cars are covered with a warranty. If you consider used cars,  there are two options: 1) used car dealerships; 2) private sellers. In the first case, a dealership is bound by law to sell you a car of satisfactory quality which is safe and legal to drive. There is rarely a warranty on used cars, and a dealer is not responsible for what is considered fair wear. Private sellers are a high-risk, high-reward option: for the same amount of money you can be sold a barely used car in great condition or an old jalopy behind a refurbished body. If you have found a superb car online, ask the seller: 

  1. to provide all the paperwork, and most importantly, VIN. You can use various services online to look your car up using VIN to see if it’s under a lien or has been in an accident;
  2. to provide important details about a vehicle such as mileage and repair history;
  3. to give you enough time to look at the car yourself. If the seller is in a hurry, that should be a red flag.

Take It For a Test Drive

Doesn’t matter whether you’re buying a used car or a new one, make sure to get behind the wheel and take your future car for a spin. Even if you are buying a new car, it makes sense to check if the car that looks great also feels that way on the road. If you realize that the car just doesn’t feel right, it will be hard to just take the vehicle back to the dealership with a quibble reason. And remember — if the dealership or  the seller do not want you to get behind the wheel before you pay, walk away and look elsewhere. While you are driving, don’t forget to do these things:

  1. Accelerate and take notice if the vehicle pulls to the side or produces odd noises or vibrations;
  2. Gain some speed for some part of your test drive (at least 60 mph or 95 km/h) and see if the front part of the car acts normally. Many problems with the engine may be unnoticeable at low speed, so make sure to speed up at least for some time;
  3. Check the transmission. Shifting gears should feel smooth and seamless;
  4. Don’t forget about the brakes — applying them should feel responsive and shouldn’t require a lot of pressure.
  5. And be sure to be attentive to your overall feelings — for example, make sure you notice if your steering wheel vibrates oddly and does not feel responsive enough. 
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