Buying your first car is an exciting milestone. There is nothing more thrilling than the feeling of finally being able to purchase and drive a car of your very own. You have probably already pictured yourself in a certain vehicle color, in a particular affordable car such as a used Nissan Altimaor used Honda Civic, or maybe in a luxury pre-owned car like a used BWMor used Mercedes. Entertaining the idea of your new ride is certainly fun, but there is definitely much more to consider beyond the color and model when it comes to actually finding the right car for you and making a smart, responsible purchase. As a first-time car buyer, navigating the car buying process can be a bit intimidating, so we’ve put together a list of some ‘need to know’ tips on buying your first car to make the entire process easier. Following each of these tips will ensure that purchasing your first car will be a gratifying and successful experience. You will be able to cruise out of the dealership lot in the perfect car for you — one that fits all of your needs and your budget.
1.Know what you can afford: Walking into a dealership not knowing what you can actually afford is a huge mistake. It’s easy to find a vehicle you love, but you can end up getting yourself into some pretty hot water when you realize after paying all your monthly expenses there isn’t enough money left over to pay for the car you fell in love with. Be realistic about what you can afford! The optimal route is to save up money and pay cash for a vehicle. However, you may find yourself in circumstances which require you to consider a vehicle that needs to be financed. If you find yourself in this situation, it is a good idea to consider a used car or pre-owned car. There are many quality used cars and even luxury pre-owned cars that can be found at great prices. You can find some of the best used car deals in Miami right here at Prado Auto Sales.
2.Establish what you can spend per month: To establish what you can afford to spend monthly on a car, you need to first determine your cost of living. To do this, add up all of your monthly expenses. This includes things such as rent/mortgage, utilities, food, health insurance, credit card payments, clothes, and don’t forget to add in the extras like going out to dinner, getting your nails done, happy hour, etc. The sum of all of these items equals your monthly cost of living expense. Once it’s all added up, subtract this figure from your monthly pay. The amount you have left over is what you can afford to spend on your car payment, auto insurance, gas, and vehicle maintenance on a monthly basis.
3.Determine your transportation needs: Evaluate your lifestyle to determine what type of vehicle will best meet your needs. Do you have a long commute to school or work and need a vehicle with good gas mileage such as a Toyota Corolla? Do you need to haul equipment so a truck or SUV like a Chevrolet Silverado or Tahoewould be the best fit for you? Do you need to fit a large number of people in your car but want a fun little car like a Fiator Mini Cooper? Don't buy what you don't need.Be honest about your transportation needs. Knowing your needsis an essential step toward finding the right car.
4.Prioritize your wants: Although paying attention to your transportation needs is very important, it doesn’t mean what you want has to go completely out the window. At the end of the day, you should be happy with your purchase. Sit down and assess what features in a vehicle satisfy you. For instance, if having a sun roof, 4-wheel drive, or leather seats is important to you, then look for a vehicle that matches your needs but has these features as well. You may not always find a vehicle that has every single one of your wants, but taking the time to evaluate and prioritize them will help in the search for finding the vehicle that is best fit for you.
5.Do your homework: In this digital age, doing research on vehicles has never been easier. There are many reliable websites where you can do research to determine a car’s reliability track record, the cost of maintenance and repairs, recalls, gas mileage, etc. Reading online reviews from automotive experts and vehicle owners can give you a better feel about the vehicles you are considering to purchase.
6.Locate a dealer: Finding and buying your first car is a lot simpler now than it used to be. The online marketplace gives you access to a wide range of vehicles and the ability to find a dealership in your area effortlessly. Search tools make it even easier to refine your search so you can find vehicles within in your price range that meet your needs. If you are looking for used cars in South Florida, the Prado Auto Sales website is the perfect place to start your online search.
7.Take your final picks for a spin: Once you have finished reviewing the vehicles in your search and narrowed it down to your top picks, it’s time to head to the dealership to take them out for test drives. The test drive is an integral part of your decision making process. This is your opportunity to see how the cars perform on the road and how you feel behind the wheel. While on the test drive test adjust the seats, turn on the radio, try out the cruise control, etc. to make sure you are comfortable in the car and everything meets your expectations. At Prado Auto Sales, scheduling a test drive can be conveniently done right on our website on the Schedule Test Drive page.
8.Negotiate the purchase price: You have determined how much you can afford, done your research, and decided what car you want — now it’s time to negotiate the sale price. Make sure tell the dealer the full amount you can afford to budget for the car. For instance, if you know you can afford to pay $20,000 for a vehicle, give them this number instead of the monthly payment number. This will make it easier to stay within the budget you already determined once the financing, warranty, taxes, and fees have been determined and finalized. Be sure you fully understand all terms of any agreements before you sign them.
9.Secure financing: Being a first-time car buyer, there is the possibility that you could have insufficient or marginal credit history to secure financing for the vehicle you want. If you think this could be an issue and know you can’t secure a co-signer, you may want to play it safe by looking into your credit score and/or talking with your bank to confirm that you qualify for financing in advance. Luckily, the majority of dealerships offer their own financing. You may be able to qualify for dealership financing when you weren’t able to with the bank, so make sure you approach the dealership about your financing possibilities and options.
10.Don’t forget to enjoy the process: Although purchasing a vehicle is something that should be approached seriously whether it’s your first time or not, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the process. You are lucky to live in an age where you can search through a variety of vehicle options right from the comfort of your own home or even on the go using your phone. With so many great cars to choose from right at your fingertips, car shopping has never been more engaging — so, make sure to take your time in the process and have some fun while searching for the perfect car for you.
Start having some funright now on the Prado Auto Sales website where you can search through our inventory of affordable, quality used vehicles to find one of the best used car deals in South Florida and the perfect car for you!
Prado Auto Sales is dedicated to customer satisfaction in hopes that you always remain a part of the Prado Family. We have provided you with a Google map, address and phone number to help you find us easily.