What you need to know when buying your first car


Owning a car used to be a luxury but over the years it has now become a necessity. The pandemic has made public transportation unsafe. Even though buying a car is an expensive investment, it provides a more comfortable and safe way to travel. If you are still pondering on buying your first car, here are the important things you need to know.

Brand new or pre-owned?

Deciding whether you will buy a brand new or a pre-owned car highly depends on your budget.  There is no denying that a brand new car is more expensive. You pay for the assurance that the car is in very good condition. On the other hand, a pre-owned car is cheaper but may come with problems and will end up costlier because of the repair works and maintenance. 

My first car is pre-owned. After using for a few months, the issues started appearing one after the other. I skipped on having the car checked by a certified mechanic before closing the deal and it was a costly mistake on my part. At the onset of the pandemic, I purchased a brand new SUV. Although it comes at a higher price, I have peace of mind knowing that if anything goes wrong, it is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

Sedan or SUV?

When buying a first car, the popular choices are sedans and SUVs. My first pre-owned car was a sedan while my first brand new car is SUV. Your choice should depend on your need. If you are looking for something that will make it convenient for you to drive to work within the city, the sedan is the best choice. The sedan is also more compact and fuel efficient for city driving.

I love long drives and out of town trips with the family which made the SUV perfect for my first brand new car. It has more room and trunk space for the luggage or when I do groceries. So I suggest go with the car that will fit your lifestyle.

Cash or loan?

Your budget will dictate if you will be paying in cash or taking a loan. With the current economic situation brought about by the pandemic, buying a car is a huge financial decision. Make sure that you don't put in all your savings just to pay in cash. The expenses doesn't end in the purchase. Fuel, parking, insurance, and maintenance are some of the additional costs you will incur. 

If you decide to make a car loan, you have to ensure that your finances are efficiently planned. It is important that you know how much you can afford to set aside from your monthly income for the loan payment. 

I must admit that it scared me a bit to purchase a brand new car during the pandemic. Paying in cash was not an option for me. I am an accountant but using an online calculator like CarPaymentCalculator.net has helped me a lot in the decision-making. I was able to determine the ideal loan term given the auto loan rates from different lenders. 

It can be overwhelming when you are still in the process of searching for your first car. I hope that this simple guide will help you in your decision-making. Don't rush. And if you feel like you need a break, play these free online car games to relax your mind.