How To Buy Your First Car

Today’s How to Adult post is about how to buy your first car. Buying a car is a big financial responsibility and it has two sides to it, the excitement of getting that new car and the daunting task of negotiating and making sure you buy the right car. If you google it, you will see thousands of search like, best way to buy your first car, how to buy your first car. Don’t worry, this article will help make this life decision a little bit easier.


1. Do your Research

car research

You know that saying failing to prepare = prepare to fail? That saying rings true for a lot of things in your life. This is one of those. Buying a car is a big financial decision, so don’t half ass it or you will live to regret it.

The Internet makes it so easy now to know what you want in a car. Does it make sense to buy a new car or better for you to buy a used car? Both have positives and negatives which you can read more in depth. By the time you get to a dealer should have narrowed your choice down.

Buying a new car

Buying a used car


2. Budget and Monthly expenses

monthly expenses

An important thing to do is setting a budget that wont cripple you. Remember a car is a depreciating asset, so don’t blow your savings and income on one. If you are financing, check financing terms with your credit score to have a better idea of cost.

How much can you realistically afford to buy a car for. Calculate your number and stick to it! A few hundred dollars difference becomes a couple grand easily.

Budget your monthly expenses. Buying a car comes with carrying costs. Gas, insurance, maintenance, etc. are extra costs you may not think about when buying a car. Figure out how much driving you are gonna do and calculate those gas costs. Budget $100-$200 for insurance.

3. Shop Around and be patient

Shop around

You may be set on a car brand, but not all dealers are the same. Dealers are privately owned and carry different inventory and different specials. Geographic locations price cars differently as well.

Unless you need a car right away, Be Patient! There are car deals every month. Dealers will try to move more cars at the end of the month so they will be more giving. Also buying a left over car from last year as they are trying to make room for the new model years coming in, is gold if you dont care about having a new model year car.

4. Be prepared to walk out.

walk out

A car salesman is one of the biggest sleazeball you will talk to. Don’t take my word for it, google it. They fall below members of congress! They will lie to you and try to relate to you just to sell you a car.

Whatever price he tells you is his best price, It’s not. Tell him thank you but you can get a better deal elsewhere. Stand up, walk away, and wait for him to give you a new offer.

5. Negotiate price before mentioning trade in

Negotiate price

Negotiate your price to the price you are comfortable with, then mention you are trading in a car. Mentioning your trade in before negotiated price will cost you money. A salesman will use that information of your car worth against you. This is what they do for a living.

6. Narrow your search and test drive.

test drive

You should never have your heart set on one car before driving it. I don’t care how beautiful how nice it looks on the outside and its got all the features you want, none of that will matter if you hate driving it. Narrow down your search to 2-3 potential cars and drive all of them before making a decision. Do not let the sales guy make that decision for you, they will all tell you why the other car is nowhere near as good as this one.

7. Conclusion

  • You are your best tool, prepare yourself and be confident. go in there like a deer in headlights and they will feast.
  • Narrow down your search to 2-3 cars based on preference, and transportation needs. For example don’t buy a 2 door if you constantly drive multiple people around or have kids.
  • Don’t trust the sales guy.
  • Factor in all the costs associated with your purchase.
  • Pre-finance, be patient, and be flexible.


Hopefully you implement these steps to your car purchase and come out feeling victorious. Make sure to leave your comments below and share with your friends!




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