Purchasing your first car is a big financial decision that can seem daunting. Taking time to outline your needs and wants, budget, and financing options can help make this decision a little easier. The following 8 tips will help guide you through this milestone and help you stay on track to realizing your financial goals.
8 Tips for Purchasing your First Car
- Identify your needs and wants – start by outlining your transportation needs compared to what you want from a car. For example, do you need to use your car everyday to drive to work or just for the occasional trip. What type of driving conditions are you likely to encounter most often, which can dictate the type of car you need. These considerations are important to consider in order to identify the features and specifications of your first car.
- Set your budget – map out your income and expenses in order to determine a realistic budget. Add up your monthly income, living expenses such as rent and utilities, and the cost of owning a car including expenses such as insurance, registration, gas, and maintenance. Subtract all of your monthly expenses from your income to find your budget.
- Research before you buy – with your budget in mind, spend some time researching cars online that meet your needs. By taking some time to research in advance, you will be more prepared when the time comes to actually purchase your car.
- Decide on new vs. used – new and used cars each have their pros and cons. It’s important to consider your budget and needs in order to determine which options suits you best.
- Determine your financial options – consider applying for a loan to purchase your first car. Shop around for loans beforehand to determine how much you can borrow and avoid making impulsive financial decisions at the dealership.
- Find the best interest rate – if you decide to take out a loan, shop around at multiple lenders to find the best rate. Often, people are charged more than they should be based on their credit score, so it’s important to get multiple quotes.
- Supplement your current income – think of ways to supplement your income in order to increase your budget. For example, investing in real estate or the stock market could introduce some passive income to help you purchase your first car
- Cut down on daily expenses – try to cut down on unnecessary expenses before purchasing your first car. This will help you budget more for the cost of owning a car and increase your down payment.
Want to learn how to define your financial goals? Get started here.
Join AstroWealth today to earn Cash Back when you shop online or activate a partner offer.