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4 Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Your First Car

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Preparing to purchase your first car is exciting. Of course, you are likely to have a specific car in mind, but you should keep an open mind. Once the numbers are crunched, you may find that you cannot afford the vehicle that you want. Consider stepping backwards and including more vehicles in your search to give you options for safety, comfort, and efficiency.

Safety Ratings

Safety ratings are important. Do a bit of research on your own before visiting a car dealership. Research the model or models that you are most interested in and compare their safety ratings. You should also take note of the location and number of airbags there are in the vehicle. Ensure you do a review of best hid headlight kits along with features such as backup cameras, lane drifting alerts, and collision prevention technology. These advancements in technology may aid in lowering insurance premiums.

Always take a Test Drive

Regardless if your first vehicle will be brand new or used, always take a test drive. You need to determine if you are comfortable and feel safe in the vehicle. You also need to feel how the car handles and listen for any potential problems. If you are not comfortable during the test drive, it is not the right vehicle for you.

Purchase a vehicle that you are comfortable driving in. Make sure that you can see out of the windshield clearly and that the mirrors adjust to your preferred viewing angles. If any part of the vehicle makes you unsure about your ability to maneuver it – continue your search.

Financing Options

You must consider your financing options. Some lenders will charge a higher interest rate for used vehicles since there is a higher rate of skipped payments from those purchasing used vehicles. Some lenders will only approve financing for used vehicles at certain price points. For new vehicle financing, your credit must be nearly perfect. Your score does not have to be over 700, but you do need to have a positive payment history with no judgments.

Check Used Vehicle Histories

All vehicles have a history and a vehicle’s history is accessible online. It is important to search the vehicle identification number (VIN) through used vehicle databases to see how well the vehicle was maintained or if it has been involved in an accident. There should also be access to service records, insurance claims, and information regarding prior salvaging of the vehicle. These reports are necessary as they show more than what a dealership knows or private owner will tell you.

Final Thoughts

Take your time and view several vehicles before making a decision. Compare the monthly payment along with the insurance and gas costs to figure total vehicle cost per month to ensure that it is within your budget. If you are purchasing a used vehicle, always request that a trusted mechanic inspect the vehicle and provide a report. Whenever possible, even with a new vehicle purchase, attempt to negotiate down the price to a more comfortable price point for you.


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