Tag Archives: Car Seat

The 5 Best First Time Car Buying Tips

by Jennifer Wieland
The 5 Best First Time Car Buying Tips #CarsCom
This is a sponsored post by Cars.com. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

The 5 Best First Time Car Buying Tips #CarsCom

Car buying can be a scary prospect. I know every time I have to start the hunt I cringe a little. The reason? It’s a big purchase and can greatly affect your life. My oldest son is 24 and just recently bought his first car. I did share with him the 5 best first time car buying tips to make the whole process a lot easier and less overwhelming.

The 5 Best First Time Car Buying Tips  #CarsCom

Do Your Homework Before You Head Out

My son was just going to head out and just randomly roam around dealerships to look at cars. I told him not to waste his time with all that. Look online at Cars.com and research what’s available at what dealerships. Then you can contact the dealerships online too in order to verify that the car you actually want is in fact still available. Doing his research online really helped. He was so sure he wanted a brand new Honda or Toyota Sedan. In the end, he went a totally different route with what he bought after he did his research.

Know What You Can Afford

My son, like most college graduates has student loan debt. He makes good money and lives at home with us to pay his loans from school down faster. With all that though I still wanted him to know that most experts suggest your total car budget (payment, insurance, gasoline & maintenance) don’t total more than 15-25% of your gross income. You don’t want to end up car poor. My son had to take into account that while he was taking on a payment and picking up paying for his own insurance for the first time. He also needed to realize that a newer car would get him MUCH better gas mileage than his old car did and wouldn’t need the frequent repairs that had been hitting his wallet.

Know What You Have to Spend 

Walking into a dealership with a pre-approval from a bank makes car shopping SO much easier! I told my son to contact his bank and credit card companies to get pre-approved for a car loan. Walking in to a dealership with a number in your head makes the process easier. There’s no guessing at numbers or hoping you can get what you want. My son had no credit cards after graduation and had waited to open some. That meant he didn’t have as much credit history built up as some kids his age might have had. He was pre-approved for a decent amount $15,000 from one of his credit card banks. That’s not a bad amount but that a new car was out of the question and he then had to look at his other options. In the end he was able to find a car he loved and the paperwork took no time at all since he already had a bank approval.

New Isn’t Your Only Option

New cars are great and that new car smell is awesome! Buying a brand new car though is not the only option that’s out there for car shoppers though. You can get a really good, budget friendly, low mileage used car. The advantages of a used car is that the cost is way less. It also means you may be able to get more bells and whistles than you could afford on a new car. You may only be able to afford a base model car if you buy new. If you opt for the same car that’s got low miles and is a year or two older you may be able to get an upgraded model. Think leather seats over cloth. The other options is leasing. With a lease you get the brand new car that your basically renting on average for 24-36 months. The payments are generally lower than if you bought the same car. The other nice thing with a lease is that maintenance is usually included which reduces your out-of-pocket expenses.

Try It Before You Buy It

Once you’ve done all of your homework and think you know what you want it’s time for the real fun to begin. Head out to the dealerships that have the cars you’ve settled on. Take the cars for a test drive. You may find once you test drive a car that it’s not at all what you wanted. You may not find you like the dashboard layout. The ceiling height may not suit you. It can be all sorts of things. My son was so set on a sedan. He found after his initial search and test drives that he didn’t want a sedan at all.  

Buying your first car or any car is a huge step. It effects your budget, your family and can even change your life. Knowing how to make the process go more smoothly can take all the stress sand anxiety out of the car buying process.

So What Did My Son Buy?

My son was able to buy his very first car and he loves it! In the end the idea of new went out the window. Along with that he also bypassed his idea of a Toyota or Honda Sedan. He instead ended up with a 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan. The Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover SUV. The one he purchased only had 21,000 miles on it and came with the remainder of the warranty.

The 5 Best First Time Car Buying Tips #CarsCom Now that he has this safe and awesome new car, I can have him do all sorts of things like run his younger siblings around for me or my sister can have him come babysit his godson. To make sure his siblings and godson are safe in his car. I’m going to have him learn all about car seat installation since this week is Car Seat Safety Week.




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