Eight Steps to Buying Your First Car

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
By: Cole Kukowski


Whether you are about to cross the stage at your college graduation ready to embark on the real world with your first full-time job or a teenager working part-time at a fast food joint, the steps to buying your first car are the same.

You'll always remember your first vehicle and there's a good chance it's the first major purchase you'll make. It may seem a little overwhelming when you think about having to pay for it, but if you follow these eight steps, you'll be driving away in your very own ride in no time.

1. Establish a Realistic Budget
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When you look solely at the purchase price, it may seem unrealistic, so you must realistically look at what you can afford per month. Ideally, you pay cash and the rest is history, but considering your other bills and the price of a car, it's probably more realistic to finance. So sit down and organize your monthly bills: rent, food, student loans, etc…then consider what you have left over for a car payment and gas.

2. Establish Your Transportation Needs

Sure, we all want the hottest rides, nicest rims and most features, but for the first-time buyer, it's all about need. Are you single and are focused on gas mileage? Or are you newly married with twins on the way? See the difference? In the first scenario one of our many cars from our Pre-Owned Auto Mall would fit your situation; while a pre-owned Jeep or midsize SUV would be the best fit for the second couple.

3. Identify and Prioritize Your Wants

In the first section we said that you need to set realistic expectations within your means. However, with many late model vehicles on our lot, that doesn't mean to have to sacrifice ALL your wants. Maybe you want to splurge a little bit for heated seats. Or maybe you want leather with rear backup cam? Or maybe you can find a way to save a little more each month and get into a year newer used truck. Whatever your situation, you probably can't have it all, so it's all about priorities. Write them down. Rank them. Do whatever you have to do to make it clear what you want and how bad you want it.

4. Do Your Research

It's never been easier. Hop on your smartphone and do your research. You may even come across Aberdeen's #1 new and used car dealer online at aberdeenchrysler.com. If you do, you'll see that there is endless information and comparison articles out there. And don't forget about reviews! Google, Dealerrater and Facebook are all valuable resources to look over while conducting your vehicle research. Take your time to digest the information, find resources that you trust, and don't be afraid to call the dealership with questions.

5. Find a Dealer that You Trust

At Aberdeen Chrysler, we pride ourselves on being a best price store. That means that we aren't going to put a higher price on our vehicles waiting to negotiate a lower price later. On the contrary. We price our entire inventory with our absolute best price. You get it up front and in writing. Guaranteed. This practice has been the backbone of our dealership since opening our doors in 1992 and continues to be to this day. We take the guessing game and uncomfortable negotiations out of the picture.

Our best price practice will save first-time buyers a lot of money as they often taken advantage of at negotiating dealerships and end up paying too much. We don't believe that is the way to do business. 18 or 80, everyone gets our same best price.

If you shop around, you'll get a feel for the way you're going to be treated throughout the process. Purchasing a vehicle is a huge decision and you deserve to be treated with respect. Times have changed in the automotive industry. If you walk in the door and half the sales staff is waiting at the front door to greet you, RUN!

6. Take a Test Drive

You can learn almost everything about the vehicle(s) you're looking at online these days, but nothing can replace sitting behind the wheel and cruising down the highway. If you aren't comfortable behind the wheel, you haven't found the right car yet. So many factors come into play that can't be simulated without being behind the wheel, so don't cheat the process. Take a test drive.

7. Secure Financing

Prior to shopping around for your first vehicle, you should focus on preparing your finances for this large investment by paying your bills on time and knowing what your max budget is. It's also important to realize that even though you have your max budget, you don't have to stretch yourself all the way. Theoretically, if your max budget is $300 for a car payment and you find a nice car that works for you for only $250, you could take that additional $50 and put it towards other bills like student loans.

It's also important to understand that dealerships who do a high volume of car loans like Aberdeen Chrysler have great relationships with numerous banks. This means they get better interest rates and can pass those savings on to you!

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Of the eight steps listed, this may be the easiest to skip. However, like all things in life, it's important to enjoy the process, especially when it's your first time. Everyone always remembers their first car, so it's important to remember how you got it.

Right now is actually the perfect time to be in search of your first car. Aberdeen Chrysler has so many great vehicles to choose from that we have something for you no matter your budget. Our staff will help guide you through the buying process and make sure your first go around is an enjoyable one. We look forward to the opportunity to earn your business.

Cheers
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