We’re excited to share a new guest blog from Cait Klein at NerdWallet about buying your first car.
Buying a new car should be fun, but it can be daunting for first timers. Factors from choosing the make and model to learning how to finance the purchase can be complicated for the uninitiated. By understanding the process, you can be sure to get the best deal.
Finding the right fit
You may pine for a big sport utility vehicle or a sultry sports car, but going for a more practical vehicle may be more financially sound. Sports cars come with higher insurance premiums because insurance agencies know people are likely to be tempted to drive them like a race car. Larger SUVs guzzle gas and can dent a budget if you anticipate using one to, say, drive back and forth to a distant college. In your search, take safety features, gas efficiency, reliability, maintenance and insurance costs into consideration.
New or Used?
Getting a car fresh from the factory gives you that wonderful new-car smell and a new-car warranty that should keep you from worrying about mechanical problems and repair costs for the next few years. It also comes with a new-car price tag — and the assurance that your new prize will lose value from depreciation as soon as you drive it off the lot.
Buying used is cheaper but comes with its own set of considerations. Before going with a used car, check out its past by getting its history through a site like vehiclehistory.gov. If the history is sound, consider having a mechanic examine the car. You can also employ a vehicle-buying service offered by lenders like Peach State Federal Credit Union.
How to pay for it — and how much
If you don’t have the cash to pay upfront, you’ll need financing, a fancy term for an auto loan. It’s always a good idea to get pre-approved for a loan through your financial institution. That way, you’ll know exactly what your interest rates will be and what you can afford to buy.
Auto comparison websites can give you accurate price quotes based on a car’s year and model and its features. They can also tell you what local dealerships are selling similar cars for, so that you walk into your negotiations armed with solid information.
With all of this homework done, you’ll be ready to comfortably tackle the big test: closing the deal. Soon you’ll be driving away in your new ride, confident that you’ve made a good choice — and gotten a good price.
Don’t forget! Peach State is offering a 1%* APR discount on new auto loans. Learn more on our Web site!