New car owner? keep these tips in mind when purchasing

Your First Car A new purchase is always exciting, especially when it’s something as big as your first car. You may be a teenager, a young adult, or an adult who has recently acquired a license in Canada. Whatever the case, you have a big decision ahead of you.

As a fresh car owner, there are probably two main things you’ll want to keep in mind when it comes to purchasing your first new (or used) car. Money is likely first and foremost. Second is safety. You’ll want to get behind the wheel as painlessly as you possibly can, which may mean taking the time and effort to shop around and select a car that best suits your needs. Here are some tips for your journey.

Consider affordability

Depending on your circumstances, your budget may be one of the biggest restrictions with purchasing your new vehicle. If you are a teenager, you are likely working with a parent to establish a budget that is within reason – and that may limit your options to older models or used vehicles. That’s not an issue! You still have a range of choices, and a used car may be a fine option. The money that you have available for your down payment and the money you will have available for your monthly loan installments may narrow down your options.

When it comes to what you can afford, consider what you will be paying for. Are you only using this car to drive to the shops every few days or to work? Or is this a vehicle you will be using well through high school, into university, and beyond? If you are leaning to the latter, you may be wanting to put aside more for a newer, more dependable vehicle. On the other hand, if this car is only going to be used for occasional, short trips, a used or older vehicle may suffice.

Purchasing a vehicle that is a couple years old isn’t a bad option, as it will be less expensive and may still very well have many of the “contemporary” safety features that you would look for in a car. If you are young and/or inexperienced, you may have difficulty purchasing via a lender because they tend to look for older folks who have established a relatively decent credit score with a consistent employment history. If this is the case for you, you may need a parent to co-sign or even purchase the car outright in your stead.

Take your time

A car is not an impulse purchase. When purchasing a vehicle, you will want to take your time to look around and assess your options as well as seek out the help of a friend and/or parent who might have more experience in the realm of car-buying than you do. Focus on what your needs are, how you can best minimize your costs, and practical decisions – i.e, how long you will be needing your car for and what you will be needing it for.

If you are expecting huge expenses later down the line – such as university tuition – you may want to take that into account when planning out your purchase. Yes, purchasing a vehicle for under $20,000 or even $10,000 may sound less exciting, but there are plenty of options within that price range.

However, perhaps you are planning on purchasing a car that will take you through many years and be driven numerous times a week, to school and/or to work. A new car might be a better option. It sounds more expensive, but it has its benefits. New cars – excluding sporty or luxurious models – like SUVs and minivans often have higher safety ratings than older models thanks to refined technology, have better performance, and are much more reliable.

Remember that your insurance costs will also be a factor in your expenses, and car insurance can be more expensive the younger or less experienced of a driver you are. Many insurance companies will raise rates for vehicles that have larger engines, are sportier, or have a higher likelihood of theft. As a young driver, your rates may already be much higher – you don’t want to make them any worse. (Vous pouvez toujours discuter avec un courtier d'assurance comme Panda7 pour savoir comment réduire vos coûts d'assurance automobile comme jeune ou nouveau conducteur!)

If you are applying for a car loan, chances are your bank will request that you have full-coverage insurance. You can request a car insurance quote from a broker like Panda7 to see how much your insurance will cost you – and you can discuss with a professional at any time for ways to reduce your rates as much as possible.

Final thoughts

Negotiate. If you are looking at a vehicle that seems like it might fit the bill, you always have the option to negotiate the price. If you are a young person purchasing a vehicle for the first time, you may want to bring along an experienced adult who can help assist the process of negotiating.

Most car salespeople will attempt to get the most they possibly can for a vehicle, so it’s a good idea to negotiate outright. Do your research beforehand on what the current market value of the model is and take into account the car’s current condition and mileage. Aim for that price. You may very well end up between the wholesale and retail price – but it’s better than settling for what the salesperson would have charged without any negotiation beforehand. If you can’t settle for a fair price, look somewhere else! There are plenty of cars to choose from.

There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a new or used car. It can be an overwhelming process, but hopefully by the end of it you’ll have a vehicle that meets your needs and budget. Good luck on finding the car of your dreams!