Many people rely on public transport to get around. However, that entails a lot of hassle and stress, so many opt to use their personal cars instead. And why not? Having your own car is comfortable and convenient. You get to control your own time, get more personal freedom, and can generally be more independent as a person.
The potential benefit of having your own car is not without a barrier, though. It can be quite daunting to buy a car for the first time. But fret not; here are some reminders on what to prepare before you buy a car.
How much you’re going to pay
Nobody wants to work within a limited budget, but that’s the reality of life. It’s not fun, but knowing how much you can let go will really set things out for you. While there is no catch-all rule, a popular calculation is that your monthly car payment should be more or less than 15 percent of your monthly income. Keep in mind, however, that putting in a bigger down payment can help you reduce your monthly fees. So compute your monthly expenses and see if that 15 percent won’t affect your monthly budget too much. If you’re lucky, you’ll find that you can pay a quarter of your salary, saving you money in the long run.
Now that you have a general idea of how much you need to spend on a car, another thing to consider is how you’re going to pay for it. The most common route is through a car loan, and it’s not exactly a bad idea. There are a variety of auto loans out there, with different interest rates and conditions for each. Another idea you can consider is through a credit card. Some credit card companies will allow you to use your card for a car payment and still take advantage of cash-back options.
What kind of car you should get
As everyone’s reasons for getting a car are plenty and tremendously varied, there is no single right answer. And instead of going for a car that you feel you’d like, it’s best to pinpoint what you need a car for. This dictates what kind of car best suits you, so take your time considering what you truly need. If you are unsure of the specifics or find it hard to decide what aspects you should prioritize, think of these simple things first:
- What type of driving will you be doing? Off-road, highway, or mostly street surfaces?
- How many people are going to ride your car?
- How much cargo capacity do you need?
One option that can be of interest for those who want to save money is purchasing a used car. Of course, the often-discussed disadvantage of a used car is its reliability. It’s been on the road many times before, and it definitely won’t compare to a brand-new one. Luckily, you can check a used car history through its vehicle identification number (IVN). This will show you multiple information regarding the car, such as the number of past owners, or if it’s been involved in any accidents. Buying a used car from a reputable car dealership should come with a free VIN report before closing the deal.
Now that you know what kind of car you need, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for. This will save you time and money down the line, as choosing the wrong car for you can mean having to spend more.
Where you can buy
While the usual answer would probably be “a shop near you,” it’s not that easy to find a car with the exact specifications that you need. If you’ve already checked your local shops but you still can’t find one that you like, you can check online websites that offer a wider range of options. Broadening your choices means that you can also choose from a wider variety of models and payment options. And if you find a car you like but it’s not as close to your home as you’d like, worry not. Many car carrier services can help safely transfer your new car from the shop to your home.
Purchasing your first car is exciting and intimidating at the same time. Depending on how you make decisions regarding your purchase, your experience can be positive or somewhat difficult. Despite that, a car is still a relevant investment that will greatly help you with your personal freedom and independence. It’s definitely worth all those nights mulling over whether to buy or not.