Get helpful tips for every step of your car purchase and for making the best decisions.
Be realistic about your needs.
What is the climate like where you live: snow falls, rains or is hot? Assess your lifestyle and the driving conditions you face most often. Do your research - Learn about features and options, and how they can affect a car's price.
Consider your budget and financing.
Also, take a realistic look at your finances. That not only includes the purchase price but also budgeting for the use and care of your future car, including maintenance, insurance, gas, repairs and parking.
A down payment is generally not required for your loan, but making one is a good idea - you won't have to borrow a large amount, and your monthly payment will be lower. (Generally, for every $ 1,000 you pay down, your monthly car payment drops by $ 15 to $ 18, based on Edmunds data from November 2017).
Explore your options
Buying your first car is much easier than it was for your parents. The Internet offers a large number of vendors beyond your local area (who can ship cars to your area but at a charge), which can mean more options within your price range. You can search and narrow down your options by looking online for car ratings in safety categories or car type (such as SUVs, hybrids).
Take a test drive
Once you identify a few cars that may fit your needs and budget, drive each car to see if you like it and to evaluate its performance. Try to drive all the cars you are considering on the same day so that you can easily compare them.
Close the deal
You have already done the search, you know what you want and have the financing ready. When you close the deal, you are in control, and you can focus on reading the contract carefully. However, before signing, make sure you understand the terms of any financing agreement or guarantee.
After you get out in the car, make sure you keep making a single payment by signing up for automatic bill payments so you can focus on your next destination.