July 25, 2024


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How to Avoid Beginner Mistakes in Buying Your First Car

5 min read


When it comes to people buying their first car, everyone has a story to tell. The first-time car buying experience usually begins with days and weeks of searching for the right choice and evaluating the best deal from different showrooms, only to be confused by the endless specs. A lot of offers and advice would make you feel stressed out.

You’re not only stressed about getting the perfect car within your price range but as soon as you drive off from the showroom, lingering thoughts in your head questioning whether you have made the right decision or could have done better. Although it may seem to be an overstatement of the whole car by experience is life-changing, it is hard to avoid a beginner’s mistake in buying the first car.

Even the most seasoned car buyers have had to go through this experience for the first time. But thanks to their stories, first-time car buyers can now learn how to avoid such mistakes during their car buying experience.

Mistake to avoid #1: Going shopping without doing enough research

Mistake to avoid 1 Going shopping without doing enough research

When it comes to shopping for your first car, research is your savior. Given the different characteristics of different cars, it is vital to factor in research when trying to make the right decision. From color, price, seating capacity to safety features, and fuel economy, you will need to do your homework thoroughly. If you do not know what each of the specs means, there is an abundance of online reviews, advice, and information that can offer you in-depth knowledge about car models.

Doing your homework also means knowing which car features you need and which will be extra. Moreover, based on your location, there could be dozens of car dealers within a few driving distances. But don’t just stop at the nearest dealer or the one recommended by your friends or someone you saw on social media. Take time to research the car you want to purchase and check whether the dealer can offer it at the best price.

Mistake to avoid #2: Either trusting every dealer or none at all

Mistake to avoid 2 Either trusting every dealer or none at all

It is quite obvious for first-time car buyers to be vulnerable and tense about meeting car dealers. While some dealers may see your nervousness as a heads up to pick a financing option that’s more suitable for them than you, others may get the best financing even if you have a poor credit score.

Previously, dealers used to offer lesser financing options, but the market growth has made it all possible. So whom to trust and do not? All you need to do is do your research about financing options for first-time car buyers and trust your instincts. If you feel you are being coerced into purchasing extra services, look elsewhere. 

Mistake to avoid#3: Thinking new is better

Thinking New is Better

Once you have done your homework and know the kind of car you want, you need to decide if you want to buy a new car or a used one. While you might feel tempted to purchase a new car, there are several disadvantages of buying a new one on the first go. To begin with, used cars are comparatively lower in price than new ones, meaning you have to worry less about the finance. Buying a used car is the ideal option for individuals whose credit history does not facilitate the finance amount the car demands.

The market for used cars is growing every day, and there are several online marketplaces such as the Facebook marketplace or Craigslist that can connect you to private sellers. However, buyers are recommended to go to dealers. They will not only receive professional-grade car evaluation but can also talk about car financing options and extended warranty protection that private sellers may not offer.

Mistake to avoid #4: Fixating on monthly payments and ignoring the purchase price

First-time car buyers are often carried away by longer financing periods with zero down payment offers or lower monthly payments. As much as these may seem attractive, they mostly hide the real cost of car ownership, overlooking the entire running cost. For instance, besides the payments and interest, you might need full coverage car insurance if you wish to finance your vehicle.

Additionally, car repair and maintenance cost, and daily refueling costs can easily double the monthly payment option, tagged as ‘low’. Monthly payment options often hide the actual price of the car and focusing on them can cause you to overlook your budget. Not only will you be blinded by the first auxiliary cost, but it may also give the dealer a chance to sell you extra services which you may not need. Try not to lose sight of the specific features that you want in your car and the budget you have.

First-time car buyers should know this

First time car buyers should know this

Apart from monthly payments and purchase prices, first-time car buyers also need to consider car insurance to protect their wallets from the costs of accidents. Some coverages are legally required, so you need to evaluate your needs and compare prices to receive the best rates and policy plans. Whether you need just liability insurance coverage or want to get collision and comprehensive coverage, digital choices such as Lemonade car insurance make it simple to get your answers online before you buy. From unfortunate fire damage and vandalism to theft and medical bills, car insurance makes any incidents manageable, affordable, and efficient.

Mistakes to avoid #5: Not taking the car out for a test drive

Mistakes to avoid 5 Not taking the car out for a test drive

You may have done thorough research, put efforts into comparing prices and dealer offers, but if you cut short the test drive, you may be regretful later. First-time car buyers shouldn’t make that choice based on some reviews and rely solely on their sight.

Test drives are the best way to know whether the chosen car is perfect for you or not. Most first-time car buyers assume that all new cars are bound to run smooth so skipping the test drive altogether would not hurt much. Avoid this mistake at all costs and take out the car outlet for a spin to test its performance on the road. 

Final word

As a first-time car buyer, you need to learn and understand when to hold and when to go all in. How you handle your first car buying experience has a lot to do with how you feel about maintaining it. However, try avoiding the above-mentioned first-time car buying mistake to increase your chances of making the first experience a memorable one.


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