First Car: Buying Process Simplified

We all dream of riding down the freeway in the newest and most fashionable Mercedes Benz with hi-tech features and the color that screams money and power. You’ll wake up from that dream only to be reminded either by a parent, friend, or your bank account that independently buying your first car is more complicated than when your parents surprised you with one. The process may seem fun until the finances and details of the car have to be configured into your buying decision. There are five areas that cannot be avoided or ignored, gaining the best outcome for a purchase that will follow you and your credit for years to come.

1. Dealers Galore…

There are various dealerships to purchase a car, but finding the one with the right mission, values, and employees that are attentive to their clientele is not a simple journey. The mission and vision of a dealership should be centered on the customer and not the gains of the business. In terms of the sales consultant, if you have the feeling that you’re a mouse in a snake pit, then you may be in the right place as you’ll be helped the moment that you step onto the lot. Unfortunately, being immediately approached is sometimes regarded as annoying, but as long as no one is constantly bothering, it is fine. Trust, there are plenty of dealerships, where customers are not approached or worse, treated and judged based upon their appearance leaving a sense of not belonging and utter disrespect. Other than being approached, if the sales consultant ask about your life in terms of education, work, hobbies then they are more interested in finding a vehicle to fit those essentials, than you have found you’re car shopping ally.

2. Pricing!

Calculating your monthly car payments may be done through various websites, but ultimately the dealership will present you with an offer. The many factors that contribute to your final price is the amount of the car itself, your credit score, length of credit history, the down payment, color of the car, features of the car, and the day of the month. The most significant item from this list is perhaps the credit score and history. The credit history and score ultimately determine the amount of interest that will need to be paid for your vehicle unless you are planning on providing the cash needed to drive off the lot with little paperwork.

3. Testing your Dream Car

Test driving the car is the easiest way to assess the vehicle and the features that accompany. It is also a way for the sales consultant to start the bond between the car and you. The moment you love the car, is the second the sales consultant may consider it sold. Attempt to test drive, once you have selected cars with an asking price in your price range in order to keep from driving anything far off from the allotted amount. Automobiles are naturally test driven only a mile or two, but if there is a freeway, go for it. Driving 65 miles or more is great for seeing the car abilities and features in action as opposed to driving around business and residential areas going 45 miles per hour or much less.

4. Negotiating Details

When buying a car, the price of the car should be negotiated first. Do not focus on a specific range in monthly payments as that will rise with features and perks that are attached to the vehicle. Instead, research the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) which differs with each state and city. Kelley Blue Book is a great website for finding accurate estimations for cars in any location. After you have determined the suggested price, find how to lower the price, but keep in mind the price of the car is ultimately valued based upon color, recent sales, size, amount of space, any electronic functions from automatic windows to a keyless ignition. Details such as this pre-finalize the total monthly payments, so don’t both to invest so much in the color of the car and eliminate any car with features that are unnecessary. In addition, if the dealership has not reached their monthly goal, do not be surprised to receive price reductions for any vehicle that you wish to purchase especially if they think you are on the verge of making a deal.

5. The Final Sales Person

The final part of the transaction is meeting with the finance person that will assist with all purchasing and registering the car at the local Department of Motor Vehicles. In meeting with the finance person of the dealership, the selling and adding of components does not end. They will offer GAP (Guaranteed Auto Protection) coverage which covers any damage that will not be covered by your insurance. GAP may be bought through your finance company or auto insurance as GAP offered through the dealership will cost more. Lastly, go through the warranty with great concern for the service they will provide as soon as the car is off the premise as electrical impairment such as the motor in the automatic window or installed GPS/Bluetooth system may not be protected.

Once the decision has been made and the car is finally in your possession, all of the research and deliberating will be worth the cost and time of not exposing yourself to an impulsive conclusion.



For more information regarding the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price may be found at Kelley Blue Book,


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