Buying your first car is probably the most important decision at the beginning of your adult life, and this is why you need to pay close attention to all the details. Assuming you have worked hard the entire summer or year to have enough money to purchase a vehicle that will help you look even more independent in the eyes of your family, you need to know what really matters.
So here are some basic guidelines and tips to follow to make sure you choose the right car.
Set up a budget and stick to it
The first step you need to take in your journey to find the right car for your needs is to establish a budget. Think of everything that’s important for you at the beginning and try to come up with a reasonable budget. Don’t set up goals that are too high to achieve because you’ll only end up being disappointed.
Your budget should also depend on your experience as a driver. If you just got your license and you’re 16 or 18 years old, it wouldn’t be safe for you to drive big and powerful cars. You should probably stick to mid-class vehicles that provide enough safety features and allow you to practice in the following years without having you sell a kidney to cover the repairing and maintenance costs.
Sticking to the budget is even harder, especially if it seems impossible to find everything you’re looking for in a car with a decent price tag. However, you just have to look closely and you’re certainly going to end up with the right car. Remember that a car is a good that starts losing its value the moment you buy it, so it may not worth paying too much for a product that you’ll end up changing in just a couple of years.
What type of car do you want?
Another aspect to consider is the type of car you want. Do you want a manual or an automatic car? Do you want a big one with a large trunk or a rather small and sporty one?
A manual car is harder to drive but is also significantly cheaper. It is quite the norm around Europe and in other places, whereas it’s not that common in the United States. And keep in mind that if you learned how to drive an automatic car, it will be a lot harder to deal with a manual transmission, so you’ll need more time to practice.
Cars with an automatic transmission are quite easy to handle and drive and they represent the number one choice for youngsters. However, they are significantly more expensive and will also cost you a lot more to repair.
In terms of size, you should consider your lifestyle and the places you usually go to. Do you need a car to fit your entire family or is it just going to be you on the road? Do you plan on storing a lot of things on the backseat and in your trunk or do you prefer staying as lightweight as possible?
What are the most important features for you?
Lastly, consider the design and the accessories or facilities of this car. Do you need a brand new car DVD player to listen to your favorite music while driving? What type of color do you like? What’s the style that will best suit your needs? Can you easily put a baby car seat or have a dog safety harness for cars? Do you really need leather seats?
Keep in mind that every extra option will cost you at least a few hundred dollars so you can end up opting for a full option medium-class car that costs as much as a luxury one. Therefore, you really need to set your priorities straight and opt for the features that are mandatory for your comfort and safety.
For instance, leather seats may seem like a touch of luxury but they’re not too practical in the real life. They are hard to look after, can get easily stained, and will keep you hot during the summer and cold in the winter.