Best Tips for First Time Car BuyersBlog Mar 9th, 2015
Buying your first vehicle is an exciting time that you will never forget. Everybody remembers their first vehicle and the feeling of being handed the keys for the first time. It is a great feeling of accomplishment and pride. It can also be a stressful situation, finding the right vehicle to fit your needs and budget. These tips will help make the process easier.
What do you need? What do you want?
It is important to look at your driving habits and desires to pick the right vehicle. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What will you be using the car for? (Commuting, errands, family trips, hauling equipment or cargo, business, long trips etc)
- What kind of performance do you need? (Do you like great handling, lots of power, fuel efficiency or a combination of the three?)
- What options are important to you? (Do you want a lower trim level with few options or do you need all of the best features?)
- What safety features are important to you? (Would you feel more comfortable with a vehicle that has a backup camera, blind spot monitoring, forward collision alert?)
- What is your budget? (How much are you able to spend and how will you pay for the vehicle – cash, finance or lease?)
New vs Used
You also have to look at the pros and cons of buying new compared with buying used. With a new vehicle you know all of its history and it will come with a full manufacturer’s warranty which will provide you with peace of mind. You can also customize the options, accessories and colors to suit your own personal taste. The potential downside of a new vehicle is that it will likely cost more and you must consider the depreciation of the vehicle that will occur in the first 24 months.
With a used vehicle, you can generally save yourself some money and/or get into a vehicle with more options or features that you would not be able to afford brand new. But with a used vehicle, you don’t always know the history and you might have to compromise on colour or options. Make sure to look for a vehicle that is Certified Pre-Owned or has some factory warranty left to help alleviate any concerns.
Once you have considered the above two points, you should be able to narrow down your search to a few different makes and model of vehicle. For example, if you have decided on a pre-owned vehicle and fuel efficiency is important to you, it would be best to consider a small hatchback or compact sedan. If you want lots of room for your sports equipment or gear, you might want an SUV. If you are looking for something with a full warranty, your best bet is a new vehicle.
Find a few brands or vehicles that you find appealing and schedule some test drives. Scheduling an appointment ahead of time ensures that a vehicle and sales person is available to help you. You should also spend some time online beforehand reading reviews and brushing up on the features of the vehicles you are looking at.
How To Buy
Once you have found the perfect vehicle, the most stressful part of buying can be negotiating the price and going through all of the paperwork. Throughout the process, listen to your gut. If something makes you uncomfortable, do not proceed with the process. By making sure you know your budget, you can stick to a price that works for you. If the vehicle is outside of your price range, you need to move on and look for another.
By doing some research beforehand of similar makes and models of vehicles, you can have a general idea of if this vehicle is priced correctly. Don’t be afraid to negotiate a lower selling price, if you feel it is too high or outside of your budget. If the seller is motivated and your offer is within reason, it may be accepted. Also make sure to ask about any rebates or manufacturer’s incentives that may apply to your vehicle to help bring the price down even more. Once you have agreed on a price and terms, make sure to get them in writing to prevent any confusion or misunderstandings down the road.
Insurance & Maintenance Costs
It is important to remember that you will also have insurance and maintenance costs for your new vehicle. You need to leave room in your budget to accommodate these things. Before buying, it is often a good idea to get a quote from your local insurance company to understand how much you will have to pay to insure your new vehicle. Some cars (depending on their value and/or type) will cost more to insure. You also want to think about maintenance costs such as oil changes. Sometimes when buying a new vehicle, you can negotiate some oil changes into the price of the vehicle.
Once you have taken all of these things into consideration, you can drive away in the perfect vehicle and enjoy many years of independence and enjoyment behind the wheel of your new vehicle.
Make sure to check out all of the new and used inventory below. You can also find more details on first time car buying by clicking here!
Eagle Ridge GM
2595 Barnet Highway, Coquitlam, BC