November 24th, 2021 | Updated on January 11th, 2022
It’s an exciting time, buying your first car. But with all the choices available and all the decisions to make, it can also be a bit overwhelming.
And it’s a big financial decision, too — your first car can be a major purchase! Not only do you have to find and buy the car that’s right for you, there’s a whole variety of other aspects you need to pay up for before setting off on the open road. This includes insurance, servicing, gas, and more.
Although we can’t tell you exactly what car to buy, we can give you some tips on how to get the most for your money.
Keep An Eye On The Sticker Price
The sticker price is the “list price” set by the manufacturer. It’s the price the manufacturer wants the dealer to advertise, not necessarily the price you should pay.
Most of the time, you can negotiate a better deal than the sticker price. You can do this by shopping around and by knowing what the dealer paid for the car.
The dealer’s cost is called the “invoice price.” Knowing this information will help you get a better deal from the dealer.
Use Your Money Wisely
You’re going to need a vehicle if you want to get to work and school, and you want to have a little fun, too. But there’s a lot you should be paying other people to do, and a lot you should be doing yourself.
You should never pay a mechanic to change your oil unless you don’t know how to do it yourself, or you don’t have the time. If you do need to pay someone to do it, shop around. Compare the price you get with the price you can get online.
Service contracts are another way people get taken for a ride. Don’t pay for one unless you know your car requires regular service at a certain interval. You can often find an independent mechanic that’ll do the work for less than the dealer.
Don’t Overspend On Insurance
You can get a great deal on insurance if you stop and compare prices first before jumping in on the first policy you come across with. All you have to do is ask around on the best car insurance policies, or check online for cheap SR22 insurance.
You should make sure your car is insured against theft, and you should probably buy collision and comprehensive (beyond the scope of the standard insurance policy) insurance. But do not buy “uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage” unless you drive a fancy sports car.
If you drive a modest car, you can’t afford to pay for this kind of coverage, and if you do buy it, you’re just throwing money away.
Find out what kind of coverage you need and then try to compare car insurance providers. You can call around and ask about prices, or you can look for insurance quotes online.
Most of all, you should pay close attention to your credit card statement. It’s easy to go over your spending limits, and you could wind up with fines and fees.
Gas, Oil, And Repairs
If you buy your own gas, you can save a lot of money. But you need to know how to get the most out of your vehicle.
Don’t spend money on premium gasoline.
Use regular gasoline if your owner’s manual says so, or if it recommends you use regular. If it doesn’t say anything, use regular. It costs the same, and it won’t make any difference in your car’s performance.
If you’re planning on driving your car long distances, use an oil with a higher number in the “viscosity” range. A higher number means the oil will flow better in cold weather.
Finally, do your own repairs. It’s a lot cheaper than getting the dealer to do the work. If you don’t know how to do a repair yourself, get a book from the library or from a friend. There are also a lot of online tutorials you can follow.
To Sum Up
You should know the cost of the vehicle before you start negotiating. You should also know what you have to have in your car.
Remember, you should pay close attention to your credit card statement. You’ll find out exactly how expensive it is to buy gas, tires, and other items. You’ll also find out how much you’re spending on insurance, and that could help you lower your insurance costs.
Buying your first car is a great experience. It’s also a great financial opportunity. Use this article to maximize the value of your first car.