I was looking at Facebook the other night and one of those Facebook Memories popped up from two years ago. It was me standing next to the brand new Jeep Cherokee I just bought. My caption was, “I’m so excited! I bought a new sexy SUV!” It truly was an exciting milestone in my life, but it was also scary. It was my first big purchase and I didn’t want to make any mistakes.
On my Jeep’s second birthday, I am actually shopping around for a new SUV. I am not positive that I want to buy a new one just yet, but I already know that I am more confident now than I was the first time around. Here are some tips I want to share with first time buyers to help you be a little more confident when making your purchase.
Identify Your Vehicle Preference
The funny thing is, the moment you tell family and friends that you want to buy a new vehicle, EVERYONE has an opinion about which type of vehicle you should purchase. This can become very confusing when people around you try to convince you to buy the vehicle of their choice. I knew I wanted an SUV. A larger vehicle made me feel safe. I didn’t know which one, but at least I narrowed my choices down.
Stay Within Your Budget
I loved the BMW SUV, but I knew that making payments on a vehicle like that would be a little too much for me. I actually listed out all of my expenses and calculated the amount I knew I could afford to spend on monthly payments. It’s important to be realistic when choosing a vehicle. I didn’t want to purchase a luxurious vehicle that would be a source of stress in the end.
Do A lot Of Research
Do not rely on just one source when making your final decision. Take the time to ask the opinion of your friends who drive a vehicle you may be interested in, watch video reviews on YouTube, and go to reliable car sites like cars.com. This site has been helpful with my current search for another car. It allows you to look for the vehicle type you are interested in and lists vehicles within that category. I like the price comparison tool on the site and absolutely love their article called Cars.com Best of 2018 Awards. It lists the award-winning vehicles for the year. The Jeep, by the way, is the winner of the People’s Vote Award for 2018. I feel pretty good about that!
Test Drive The Vehicle
Once you have identified the vehicle you want to purchase, make sure you take it for a test drive. Don’t just drive it by yourself with the car salesman. Bring along some friends to ride in the back and passenger seat. Ask your friend to drive the car and you should test sitting in the other seats as well. I saw a vehicle I just loved, but when I actually drove it, I realized the nose of the SUV was just too long and I didn’t feel like I could see very well.
Be Prepared When Financing Your Vehicle
You will probably be beyond excited once you have found the vehicle of your dreams. I know I was over the moon, but it is important to know your credit score before you go to the dealership to finally make the purchase. With this information you will be able to determine if you can qualify for the best car loan rates. Ensure you do not inadvertently finance the other fees that go along with the purchase such as warranties, registration fees or sales tax. If possible, pay for this with cash. You do not want to unnecessarily add this to the loan amount which only means it may take you much longer to pay off.
Buying a vehicle is a major purchase, but it doesn’t have to be a scary one. Do your research, follow these tips and I am sure it will be a fun adventure!