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Tips on How to Buy Your First Car

The time has finally arrived. You have a job and a steady source of income. Now you can turn your attention to getting your first car. No more public transit or begging friends and family members for a ride. It is an exciting prospect.

However, buying your first car is not all fun and games. It's a big purchase, carries some hidden costs and comes with financial implications that might follow you for the rest of your adult life. Most people rely on loans to buy a car, which is why it's important to go into such a transaction with your eyes wide open.

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What car do you want?

The sky's the limit when it comes to dreaming about buying a car. It's natural to want to get a flashy car with all the fancy features. However, it might just not be on the cards for you right now. The sooner you accept that, the easier the process will be. Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself:

What is the primary function of the car going to be? We all have different needs. You might need a vehicle to travel for work, or it could be for an entire family. The context of your situation will affect the decision.

Are there specific features you feel are deal breakers? These are features that, if not present, would stop you from buying the car.

What are your finance options?

Your credit score is important when it comes to securing finance for a car purchase. If your credit is poor, you are a risky investment. However, there are some options available to you. Buy here pay here dealerships offer direct finance, circumventing the need to go to a bank.

Shop around before you choose how to proceed. There's a lot of competition out there, so taking the time to explore your options can save you money.

Bear in mind that, in addition to the car repayment, there are other expenses you need to consider:

-Insurance
-Repairs
-Maintenance

Deal with someone trustworthy

The car sales sector has its fair share of charlatans who are looking to part you from your money. They'll make a lot of claims in their sales pitch which the car won't live up to after you get it.

Choose to work with a reputable dealership when you want to buy a new car. You can ask friends and family members for recommendations. What you're looking for is a reliable service. If you can't find a dealership by word of mouth, look online at what your options are and what the reviews say.

Most people are not mechanical specialists. They look under the hood of a car and can't tell a radiator from a battery. If you're one of these people, ask someone who knows a bit about cars to accompany you to the dealership. They can ask all the technical questions to make sure you're getting a good deal.

Be realistic

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Whatever you do, don't have unrealistic expectations when you decide to buy a car. Here are some of the harsh realities:

-You may have to settle for far less than you'd like to. Your budget might not allow for the car of your dreams.
-If you allow your car repayment to be a significant part of your monthly expenses, you won't be able to afford hobbies, entertainment, and a few luxuries.
-Your first car is a stepping stone toward future purchases. Don't compare yourself to others, especially those who've been car owners for several years. Your turn will come, and it will be worth the wait.

This item was posted by a community contributor. To read more about community contributors, click here.

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