Buying your first vehicle is a huge milestone regardless of what age you buy it. First-time financing and buying can be daunting, and you may worry that your lack of knowledge in car financing will mean getting a bad deal, but don’t worry. The process is actually relatively straightforward, and you can use this guide to help you understand what considerations you should make when choosing and buying your first vehicle.
Is Buying a Vehicle the Right Move for You?
There are lifestyles that genuinely do not require you to have a vehicle of your own. If you live in a much larger city that has a strong public transportation system, then chances are you won’t be using your vehicle on a regular basis. In this case, therefore, it may be cheaper to simply rent a vehicle for those few times a year you go out of the city and need the freedom a vehicle can provide.If you live or are going to move to an area that does not have a comprehensive public transportation system, however, owning a vehicle is a must. The same applies if you need to drive for work or if you need to drive long distances regularly for whatever reason.
If it makes sense to break down how to buy yourself a vehicle, as opposed to renting it on a daily basis, then there are a few key things you need to know to help you save and get the best deal. Keep reading to find out more.
How to Choose the Make and Model of Your Vehicle
There are several key questions to ask yourself that will help you narrow down the make and model of the vehicle that you go for.
- What do you need it for? Long distances, city driving, for work, etc.
- What is your ongoing budget for your vehicle?
- How many people will you regularly be driving with?
- Do you need to tow items behind your car?
If you plan on primarily driving in the city, then an electric or hybrid smaller vehicle can be the perfect fit and help you comfortably get around the city (and often avoid congestion charges) for less. Electric vehicles make sense for city driving, but not for long-haul drives, where you would want to look for a larger vehicle that is powered by petrol or, at the very least, is a hybrid.
By understanding what you normally need your vehicle for, you can ensure that the models you look at fit your needs. The specific make is up to you. Thanks to regulation, the overall performance and safety features are consistent. What will change which brand you go for is design and preference. Regardless of which brand speaks to you, always choose the right model of vehicle that best supports your needs.
New or Used?
There are, like many things in life, pros and cons to these two options, which is why the best option, hands down, is a barely used vehicle. These vehicles may only be a year or two old and have very little mileage on them. The reason why these are the best options is that it means you can avoid the high new price and that initial sharp drop in value once you drive that vehicle off the lot. The vehicle itself functions as new and even still has warranty coverage.
So, in short, barely used is great because it:
- Still has its warranty
- Helps you save
- Depreciates less
New vehicles are ideal if status is important for your needs. Older used vehicles are best for those on a strict budget. It is always important to compare the upfront cost of available used vehicles to their running costs. You will also want to price compare options between the cars at used cars Stafford dealerships to ensure you have the best rate for the condition of the car.
Financing Your Vehicle
When it comes to the cost of the car, there are three numbers to consider:
- Financing Options
- Running Costs
Your deposit will impact the number of deals and interest rates you have available, and the higher you can pay as a deposit, the better your options will be. Knowing what your financing options are and also how to negotiate a better deal can help you bring the price you pay overall down.
The cost of buying the vehicle, however, is not the only price you should consider. Also, understand what your running costs (fuel, insurance, maintenance) are and use that cost to compare the upfront and ongoing cost of a vehicle.