Adulting Transition

Ultimate Guide to Getting Your First Car

March 4, 2022

Your first car could be one of your first major investments, and an important one at that. Having a personal car is a necessity nowadays because it is more convenient than commuting, especially if you are the type of person who has a lot of errands to do. But what should you consider when purchasing your first car? 

Type and model of the car

The type and model of the car are the first things you should weigh on because this one is a personal choice apart from being a practical one.

  • What type of car do you prefer?
  • Do you want a sedan or an SUV?
  • Do you need to use it for yourself only or do you have a family to consider?
  • Is it going to be for personal use or are you going to use it for a business?

These questions could lead to the type and/or model of the car you are going to get. If you still don’t have an idea of what you should buy, there are news articles that suggest the best practical cars in this season. For instance, here’s a US News article that suggests the most practical car options for the year 2021. But apart from practicality, this could also be just a personal preference. Would it be a dream car? It’s your decision to make. And after considering these, you can proceed to the next one—the price.

Price range and amortization

After choosing the type or model of the car that you want to purchase, it’s time to look around and check its price. You can go research different car dealerships near you and check if the vehicle you want is available there and how much they are selling it for. You may also review the car loan process beforehand to get all the details needed.

The best thing to do is to personally inquire and sort of get a customized deal that would suit your budget. Some car dealers try to adjust their rates depending on the capacity of the customer, considering other factors such as the amount of downpayment to be made, the length of the term, and the amount of amortization you could afford. It’s not bad to haggle sometimes.

Just remember that this is a major financial commitment and it could affect your credit score in the future. So you better make sure that you can commit to whatever deal you are going to get for your new car. 

Insurance and tax

Apart from monthly payments, your vehicle is also subject to tax. But there are vehicles that are exempted from tax such as old cars. There are also a few states that do not impose a tax on cars such as Delaware, Alaska, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Montana. You can purchase your car in these states, but you may still have to pay car tax if you move the vehicle into a state that imposes a tax on cars.

Car insurance is also important because accidents could always happen and it’s better to be secured rather than having to spend more later on. There are different types of car insurance and they vary depending on the state you are in. There is mandatory car insurance that covers your liability when accidents happen, and some options are for the damages your vehicle could get. There is also gap insurance where you get covered if the car gets stolen — basically, it prevents you from paying the whole amount of the car after it was stolen. 

These are just a few, basic pointers you need to remember when getting your first car, and again, just be reminded that purchasing a vehicle is a major decision and you should not be too quick when deciding what to buy and where to buy it from. Take your time and try to always look for the pros and cons before purchasing.

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