Tips When Buying Your First Car

Discussing the strategy behind buying a car.


What Car to Buy

1: A used car. That is the most important thing to consider when you’re buying a car is that it is in your best financial interest to buy a used car rather than a new one. The reason why is when you buy a new car as soon as you drive it off the dealer’s lot, it loses a huge percentage of its value.

2: A reliable car. Stick to Toyotas and Hondas if you want the best reliability. If you’re going to stray away from those two brands, do your research on the car and model that your considering and make sure it will not be causing you problems for years to come. Also, check consumer reviews.

3: An older car. Older cars are  proven to be more reliable and last a long time. Newer cars have not been around long enough to prove themselves as worthy of purchase. In addition, newer cars are more intricate and have newer technology which also means more maintenance. Older cars have less complicated technology and are built on the idea that simplicity is better.

How to Find Your Car

The best websites I had the most success with when I was looking for my car are: Craigslist, Cargurus, and local dealer websites. I would steer clear of car dealerships as they use many manipulative tactics to lock you into a car deal once you are there. Before you go to a dealership, look on their website and know what cars you want to look at before you go so that you don’t waste a ridiculous amount of time there.

About Craigslist: It is unreliable. There are always better deals than dealerships and used car lots, but there are LOTS of scammers. If you meet up with someone, make sure you’re in a public place or you go with someone that will have your back if you’re in trouble. Also, use your best judgement about the person selling the car. One time, I had a Craigslist guy that I wanted to buy a 4Runner from, but he showed up smoking a cigarette in the car, didn’t speak much English, and “swore by his dead mother” in heaven that this car is “amazing” and “beautiful.” Do not trust people like that.

About Cargurus: It is an awesome site, but it is not very up-to-date on the listings. It allows you to search a particular car over thousands of car dealerships within a certain range of your zip code. This is very useful to see what deals and the good prices on the particular car you want near you.

When You See Your Car in Person

Give it a thorough inspection. You don’t want any unexpected problems sneaking up on you after you buy it. There are so many things you need to check, but I would say the main ones you need to check are the oil, if there are any leaks underneath the car, and check for rust underneath the car. The inspection you make is the most important thing you will do before you make a purchase. If you want to be in-depth, look up videos by ChrisFix or Scotty Kilmer on YouTube on how to make a good used car inspection. If you don’t trust your own judgement or you have any doubts, it is a good idea to ask the owner or dealership if you can take the car to a mechanic for a professional used car inspection, and they will also give you their 3rd party opinion on whether or not you should buy the car.

The best advice I can give you before you make this big purchase is to do your research and be thorough so it doesn’t bite you in the butt later.