Steps to Take to Buy Your First Car

Used BMW 3 Series For Sale

Buying your first car is a rite of passage, and it can impact your comfort, convenience, and finances for years to come. With this in mind, you want to do everything you can to make a wise, informed decision.

By following a few steps, you can more easily ensure that you get the car you want.

Review Your Finances

Before you set foot on a dealership’s lot or begin to shop around online for a used car, you should review your finances. Look at how much money you have available for a down payment. If you have a car currently, such as one your parents purchased for you, research the trade-in value for that vehicle to determine how much equity you may receive when you trade it in. Then use a car calculator online to determine how much car you can afford to buy. Keep in mind that just because a calculator says a vehicle is affordable does not mean it is. You should also review your budget, remembering that the new car you purchase will impact your monthly auto loan payments, as well as gas, insurance, and other related expenses.

Make Your Decision

After you have thoroughly reviewed all aspects of the financial side of your upcoming purchase, you can decide which vehicle to purchase. Keep in mind things related to the vehicle’s warranty and its reliability, functionality, and practicality for your daily life. While you want a car to be functional, you also want it to be aesthetically stylish. You want to feel confident driving in it and great about your purchase.

Apply for Financing

The next step in the buying process is to apply for financing. You can do so through the dealership, but a smart idea is to apply at a local bank first. Shop around online for the lowest rates on car loans, and apply for the best rate that you can find. The bank will provide you with an approval letter, and you can take this to the financing department at the dealership as an offer to beat. The financing department may be honest with you and state that they cannot beat it, or they may attempt to get you an even better deal than what you found. Either way, you will wind up with a wonderful financing deal.

Make a Deal

You are finally ready to begin negotiating on price. Many dealerships want to negotiate on price before you have been approved for financing, but remain firm that you want to line up financing before negotiating the best deal possible on the car. After you have financing in place, you can more confidently negotiate a better deal on the vehicle that you have your eye on.

After you have followed these steps, the only thing left to do is to sign on the dotted line and take ownership of the car. Each step can take some time and effort, but remember that a vehicle is a major purchase and not one that you want to make a hasty decision about.


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