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Things to Know Before Purchasing Your First Car

So you are ready to buy your first car? Our guide will direct you on everything you need to know when it comes to buying your first ever car. There is no doubt that buying your first car can be very exciting and in some cases, a life-changing moment. However, there are things you need to know to ensure you are on the right path.

With so many resources online saying different things, it can be overwhelming knowing exactly what you need. This is why we have decided to write this article to provide you only theimportant things you need to know without making it complicated for you. 

The fact is, buying your first car goes beyond having the money to pay for it or knowing the type of car you want. You have to consider things such as licenses, car insurance, and many more. Below, we have a list of the important things to keep in mind as you start shipping for your first car.

Modern Dad's Guide to Buying & Maintaining the Ultimate Car

Top 10 Things To Know Before Shopping For Your First Car

1. Be Realistic

Most young adults who are buying a car for the first time have big expectations. You may want to buy the “sleekest” sports car in the world such as Porsche or Lamborghini. But the problem is, you may not have enough money to maintain such a car a couple of months from now. Expensive cars cost more in taxes and maintenance. We recommend you buy only what you can afford. As a rule of thumb, your car payment, including the principal, interest, and car insurance should be 10% or less of your gross monthly income.

2. Consider Buying Used Car

The perfect industrial smell, the pristine seats, the sparkle of a new paint job, as well as the ego-boating potentials of a new car makes them irresistible. While this may be true, a car loses at least 11% of its cash value once you drive them off the dealer’s lot. Besides, a new car can drive you into debt if you don’t plan carefully. We recommend looking at affordable used vehicles and buying used cars unless money is no problem for you at all.

3. Don’t Sign Contract Until You Read it Thoroughly

Most car agreements are binding. There is absolutely nothing you can do once you sign the contracts. This is why it is very important you read the contract carefully. If you are not sure what to expect, we recommend you visit the dealership with an experienced car owner or your attorney. 

4. Do Your Research

Determine why you want to buy a car! Do you want a car for work or do you plan to start a family soon? There are different cars for different needs. There are tons of resources online to help you narrow down the type of car you want for your needs. Research the price, advantages and even disadvantages of buying a specific car you have in mind.

5. Shop Around

Don’t buy the first car you see. Visit various dealerships and compare prices. You can also make use of an online calculator to compare prices of the same car sold by different car dealers. This way, you can get your dream car at the best rate. Different cars are also going to have different upgrades and accessories that come within the price. If you have the same car, but one comes with a box chevy on 28s and the other does not, as long as the price is right, you want to go for the one with the upgrades. This is where research is important. Is it cheaper to buy the upgrades yourself, or buy the car with the upgrades already?

6. Negotiate the Price

Whether you are buying a new car or used one, the price is always slightly negotiable. You can save thousands of dollars off the total purchase if you understand the art of negotiating and the invoice prices of the vehicle. Most dealerships expect you to negotiate. If you are not sure how negotiating works, ask a friend who owns a car to help.

7. Get the Car Inspected

Once you have narrowed down the car you want to buy, it is time to get it inspected. Don’t be deceived by the pleasant-smelling interior and the new paint job, most cars may have problems that are not easily visible especially when you are buying a secondhand car. If a dealership won’t let you get an impartial inspection, that’s a red flag. Something may be wrong with the car. One way you can be sure is to take your mechanic to the dealership to inspect the car before you sign the contract. Only sign the contract after your mechanic gives you “all clear” on the car.

8. Take the Car For a Test Drive

Most dealerships will allow you to test drive a car. This allows you to get familiar with a particular make and model. Besides, you can better understand the operating condition of the car after taking it to a test drive.

9. Get Familiar With Laws About Car Ownership and Driving Car 

Most countries have different laws when it comes to car ownership. In most countries, you need to be at least 18 years to own and drive a car. You also need a driving license. Apart from meeting the right age and getting your license, you need to take care of other paperwork such as getting parking tickets, car tax, and others. 

10. Get Car Insurance

Car insurance is a must when you own a car. In most countries, it is illegal to drive a car that doesn’t have insurance. You can go to jail. You can even buy your car insurance before you pay for your car. Today, there are so many insurance companies, such as Nj car insurance, all with different policies and at different prices. You can shop around until you get a car insurance policy that is right for you.


Once you have covered these 10 points above, you are ready to buy your first car. If you are buying a new car, it makes sense to buy from a local dealership. This way, you can easily return the car and avoid paying for costly oversea shipping. Remember, a new car is not immune to accidents. Car insurance can save you thousands of dollars if you have an accident. Get comprehensive car insurance that covers the cost of repair and even third-party repairs. This way, you can enjoy peace of mind while driving your new car.