You’ve just got your license and you’re ready to spend all your savings from that crappy McDonald’s job that seriously doesn’t pay you enough to buy your very first car. It’s going to impress your friends, you’re going to be able to get from point A to B in style, hell maybe you’ll even get on a show like Pimp My Ride where they’ll flip your crappy burnt out Mustang to a beautiful shining pink pony. Probably not though.
You’re probably going to get stuck with a lemon. Why? Because you’ve never done this before. You don’t know the first thing about cars other than how to drive one. All you know is that whatever make and model you choose you want it to come in powder blue. So how can you stop yourself from buying a lemon? Here is what many do and what you shouldn’t.
They don’t stick to a budget
This seems pretty obvious, to set a budget for your first car. You’ve probably already got one in mind because you’re young and you’re not exactly on a straight and narrow career path yet but one thing is for sure, you don’t have much money. That’s why it’s so important to create a budget and stick to it. It might sound pretty simple but too many people have fallen in love with a car they simply can’t afford in the long run. Buy it and regret how much it’s costing them later. Remember to factor in maintenance and fuel costs.
They buy for looks
So you wanted it in powder blue right? Wrong. You’ll take whatever colour they damn well have it in because you’re too poor to pay more money to get a car in your favourite colour. It’s tempting, when you don’t know much about cars to pick using factors you do know, like what colour looks best, how the dash looks, what features it comes with (Apple docking station, please). But instead, you should talk to someone that does know their stuff and help yourself by letting them help you.
They don’t ask for help
If you don’t know anything about cars except how to drive one, hello you just passed your test, then you’ll want to ask for as much help as possible when choosing your next ride. Do your homework, ask your parents (only if they know, if not they may be tempted to give bad advice simply because it’s the first time you’ve asked what they think in just about forever), ask Google (find good sources only), read magazines and take your time.
They rush in
You should never rush any big purchases in life, especially a car. While you may have a good idea of what you want, you should still take your time. Go to a few car dealers and test drive the models on your wish list (yeah I know you can’t afford to buy from a dealer, I’m getting to that), fake being interested in purchasing from them but let them know you need to think about it. Once you’ve given all the makes and models on your list a spin, buy a good quality used car from the classified’s to get your best price. Don’t be afraid to bide your time to get the perfect deal. If you miss out, something better is probably just around the corner. Go find it.