Buying your first car is exciting, but it’s a learning process you won’t soon forget. It’s a lot of work, a lot of effort, and it can be a headache if you don’t know what to expect when you are looking for your new car. The best advice you can get before you go to a dealer and look for your first car is to know what you’re getting into when financing a new car. Here is some advice that might help.
Check Your Credit
Before you apply for any financing, check your credit and fix any mistakes. You must have a high credit score to get the best rates and the best deals, and that’s why you must take it upon yourself to check your score. This is available free of charge one time every year from each of the major credit bureaus.
Make a Down Payment
If you hear someone tell you they didn’t make a down payment on their car, do not be impressed. Down payments are imperative if you want to make your payments more affordable and you want to drive off with a little equity. Cars depreciate the moment you drive them off the lot for the first time, and a down payment can keep you from being upside down on your vehicle while you own it.
Get Your Own Financing
Never use a dealer’s financing. They are not in the market to save you money or even bother looking for the best rates. They use their own companies, they have partnerships with banks and lenders, and they’re not in the game to make your deal worthwhile to you. They work with who they work with, and that means you might not get your best available rate. Check with your bank or credit union to see if you can get your own financing prior to shopping for a car.
Know the Cost of Maintenance
You should know what your car will cost you before you buy it, and maintenance is one of the things you must be aware of. Not all cars cost the same to fix or repair, and you must know what you’re getting into before you go home in a new car. Can you afford to pay $150 for an oil change, or is a $29 oil change more your style? Know these things in advance.
Don’t Spend More Than You’re Comfortable Spending
Even if a lender tells you a $50,000 vehicle is in your budget doesn’t mean you need to spend that much. If you want to keep your payment lower and only spend $30,000, only spend as much as you feel comfortable spending. It’s your choice, and no one can tell you to spend more than you feel comfortable spending.
Buying a new car can be intimidating, but it’s also worthwhile. Let your finances stay on track by working hard to ensure you’re getting the kind of car you want without spending too much. You have the power, and now is the time to use it.