Advice for Buying a First Car

Reader question:

I’v just got my license and am going to buy a car for the first time. Any advice?

Roy

Congratulations on your license.

Even if you luck out and don’t have to be the one to pay for your car note and insurance premium, you’ve reached that stage in your life where all of the sudden you are a lot more responsible–or, at least, you are required to be a lot more responsible–than ever before. You will now have a car, a very big thing to take car of. It’s as if that elephant you had wanted as a pet when you were a little kid had finally been granted to you. The responsibility is that big.

Being young and having no credit history in your name, there are going to be a few obstacles in your way when you try to get a new car, or even a used one. It is time to face reality and that is the main advice that I have to give you: learn what stands in your way and then deal with it.

You’re going to need more money than before even if you aren’t paying your car note, but if the car will be in your name it will be difficult to get with your credit history and your teen job. You’ll now be putting down about a hundred dollars each month for gas money, and then there’s also maintenance. The oil will need to be changed, something might go wrong.

The main idea is to come up with a down payment of at least twenty percent. Then, when you get financed, make sure that the loan term is for no longer than forty eight months. If it is for longer, then by the end of the payments you will owe more on your car than it is actually worth. If you don’t put a substantial down payment down, then this will probably happen as well, and think about later on when it’s time to get another car and you need to trade your old one in, and it isn’t worth anything.

Cheers,

Fashun Guadarrama.

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Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."