You will always remember the first car you buy. Make it a nice memory. Here we’ve outlined, roughly in order, the steps you need to take when you are making your first automobile purchase.
Locate a Dealership or Private Seller
It is important to pick a trustworthy dealership if you go that route. If a dealership refuses to show a vehicle history report to you, don’t trust them.
That’s not to say it isn’t important that you trust your private seller. This is where it really comes in handy to know a little about cars, or know someone who does. Then the vehicle can be inspected for any problems that may get worse down the road.
Pick a Car
You can look online or go to the lot and look around in person. Pick carefully! Don’t be embarrassed to leave and come back if you can’t make up your mind. Consider the color, type of transmission, reputation of the manufacturer, and of course, price. Don’t rashly buy a car you can’t afford!
Go for a Test Drive
The dealership will usually offer this to you. An employee will accompany you for a short test drive in the vehicle. They are very friendly and informative at a good dealership. A private seller may or may not let you go for a test drive.
Negotiate a Price
Haggling can be intimidating. It is much easier with a private seller, but not so much with a car salesman. It is, after all, their job to make the most money possible. Know the value of your car and be willing to settle somewhere. This goes for selling cars too, of course!
Buy the Car
In a perfect world, we could all just write a big fat check for our new car and be done with it. But unless you’re substantially wealthy, or are buying an absolute junker, this probably isn’t going to happen. You will need to make payments on your car until you actually pay the full price.
You should get insured as soon as possible. If you get pulled over without proof of coverage on your car you could face legal consequences. Find an insurance agent near you and set up a policy with them. Basic liability premiums are usually affordable unless you have a history of accidents.
This is really important! As you probably know, the law requires every car to have a unique license plate. You will need to head to the DMV to register your car and order your plate. Laws are different in each state, so do a quick google search to find out what sort of documentation you need to bring.
Imagine your happiness after you know you are free to drive your new ride wherever you want to go. Don’t be intimidated by the process. Millions of people have done it before you. Get out there and get some new wheels!