Happy teen driver at the driver's seat inside a car

Tips for Buying a Car for the First Time

Things that You Should Know When You are a First-Time Car Buyer

It’s a very exciting time to be able to shop for your very first vehicle. With this big step, it’s important to know what you should watch for and shop for. To help make your first car purchase memorable, we have a few financial tips for first-time car buyers that you should know before making the final decision.

[ READ MORE: Tips for Students Applying for a Car Loan ]

Reflect on Your Needs

Before debating between car brands, you should always decide on what type of car you need. Most first-time buyers purchase a sedan as these are affordable and reliable. Sedans are also great options as the majority of first-time buyers are teens that do not have children, nor do they require the capabilities of a truck.

Calculate a Budget

How much are you prepared to drop for a vehicle? If you don’t have a budget yet, calculate it based on your income and the amount you have saved up as a down payment. To do this, we recommend exploring the 20/4/10 rule for buying a car.

Set Requirements for Size and Research

Once you have decided on a body type, narrow down your options by setting requirements for size and features. For example, sedans generally fall into three size categories: compact, mid-size, and full-size. The larger the vehicle, the more spacious but pricey the car will be. Once you have a general idea on what you are looking for, research various brands and models that fit the description you are looking for.

Inspect and Test Drive the Vehicle

Happy teenager inside a car holding car keys

If you found a car that matches your requirements and fits in your budget, don’t make the final purchase just yet! It’s time to carefully inspect that vehicle, inside and out. On the outside, look for anything that could indicate a previous accident, such as paint discolorations and panels that don’t fit correctly. While on a test drive, be on the lookout for anything that seems out of place, such as a shaky steering wheel, strange noises, or electronic features that don’t function properly.

Remember, used vehicles will have some wear and tear, so you don’t want to be too picky. The idea behind inspecting the vehicle is to see how the vehicle performs as well as avoid expensive repairs later.

Ready to start shopping? Want to get an idea of how much you can afford to pay? Get pre-qualified here at U.S. Auto Sales today! We’d be happy to help you get behind the wheel of the right car for you.