Buying Your First Car
Being a first time car buyer is an exciting milestone, but it can also be intimidating. Your options can seem limitless, which makes it hard to narrow down your decisions. Plus, it’s easy to be intimidated by those big price tags! Buying your first car doesn’t need to be an overwhelming process. We’re here to help you make informed decisions with our expertise and products that meet your needs like our First Time Auto Loan.
Define Your Budget
The very first thing you need to do when shopping for a new car, even before you start car searching, is to determine how much you can afford. Our Auto Loan Calculators are a great tool to help you figure out what your budget looks like. You’ll also need to consider how much you will be able to pay for a down payment. Remember that the larger your down payment is, the lower your monthly payment will be. If you are able to save more for a down payment, you won’t have to take as much out of your monthly budget to make your car payments. Also, don’t forget to factor in ongoing costs like insurance, maintenance, and even gas.
Do Your Research
Before taking a trip to the dealership, spend some time online researching your options. Figure out what type of cars are in your price range and what options can affect the pricing. Once you’ve selected a few vehicles you are interested in, carefully review the ratings, reviews, and safety information for each. Additionally, compare the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) to the average selling price and shop around to be sure you’re finding a good deal.
Find the Right Car
It’s important to look for cars that fit your budget and your lifestyle. Think about what type of vehicle you need and how you plan to use it so you select options that best suit your needs. Consider things like how big you want your vehicle to be, how many passengers you will need to drive on a regular basis, how much interstate and highway driving you need to do, if your vehicle needs to handle off-road driving, etc. When it comes to special features, like built-in navigation, rear camera, blind spot alert, keyless entry, heated seats and steering, in-car Wi-Fi, etc., determine which ones are must-haves and which are extras you can live without. You also need to think about buying new versus buying used, and how the advantages of disadvantages of each align with your needs. Used cars are less expensive than new, but may come with some wear and tear, minor or major problems you may not notice right away, and some can have high mileage. New cars have no wear and tear and no mileage concerns, but come with a bigger price tag.
Close the Deal
Once you’ve selected your top choices, it’s time to head to the dealership and see your options in person. Take a thorough look inside and out with each of the cars you are interested in, not just your top choice, and don’t skimp on the test drives. A test drive is your best opportunity to get a feel for a vehicle’s performance and see how well it fits your needs before you drive it off the lot for good. Take full advantage of your test drive and spend plenty of time behind the wheel on a variety of road environments before you buy. When you’ve made your decision and are ready to close the deal, there will be a lot of paperwork to sign. Take your time reviewing each document to make sure you have a good sense of what you are signing, including what types of warranties may be included. Once everything is signed, you’ll be on your way with the keys to your new ride!
Your first car is an important purchase. Let us walk you through the car buying process and show how you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your next vehicle purchase. With a special low rate to help you establish credit, no loan processing fees or hidden fees, and convenient payment options, our First Time Auto Loan makes buying your first car easy and affordable. Determine how much you can afford using our Auto Loan Calculators. If you’re ready to take the next step in the car buying process, apply for an auto loan online, over the phone, or request an appointment at one of our branches.
At Robins Financial Credit Union, our mission is to enhance the financial well-being of our members and community. We honor this commitment by providing educational content to help you make the most of your finances. Read our other blog articles to help you gain the financial knowledge you need to succeed.