Advertising
Advertising

How Not to Get Ripped Off When Buying Your First Car

How Not to Get Ripped Off When Buying Your First Car

Cars aren’t something you change every week—once you decide to get your very first one, you should do it properly. There’s a lot of people out there who want to take your money and give you something not as valuable in exchange, which is why you need to be careful.

First of all, you should understand the fact that this project isn’t difficult and that anyone can get a nice vehicle. It doesn’t really matter if you’re not that knowledgeable when it comes to cars or not. That being said, you should go through the next six steps of buying your first car.

Limit Your Budget

You need to be realistic about this; so my suggestion is to give it some serious thought. When getting your first car, you should know that its price isn’t only about what the money you give to purchase it—owning a vehicle will add a certain amount of money to your monthly bills because you’ll have to pay for gas and repairs as well.

Therefore, when you’re trying to decide on a budget, you should make sure that you will be able to afford maintaining your new car.

Advertising

Decide On A Model

    Naturally, your budget will determine the quality of your car, but you should also think about what kind of model you are in need of.

    If you need a family car you should go with something spacious like a caravan or a van.

    On the other hand, if you need a vehicle for yourself to drive to work you don’t have to overthink; get something that doesn’t spend too much gas and that you find comfy.

    Advertising

    This is the part of your project where you need to do research, so take your time so that you can learn about vehicle specifications in order to find a combination that works for you.

    Test Different Vehicles

    The best way to be certain about your decision is to test every vehicle that you consider purchasing. Do so several times per vehicle. Many people find it uncomfortable to go to the same car lot over and over again and ask to test the same vehicle; this is a feeling you need to shake off right away.

    This is not the time to be shy. Getting your first car is an investment into your your future and you should take it seriously, which is why you should get back and test different vehicles as many times as you consider necessary.

    Find A Nice Car Dealer

    Know that a car salesperson works on commission and it’s in their interest for you to agree on a bigger amount of money so that they can earn more. This doesn’t meant they are out to get you; it’s simply something to be aware of.

    Advertising

    Know The Pros And Cons Of A Car Loan

    If you have credit issues, you should know that you’re not the only one (quite the contrary). So if you’re thinking about getting a loan for your car, make sure to get familiar with the pros and cons so that you know exactly what to expect in the future.

    Used Cars Need an Inspection

      When you set your mind on purchasing a used car you should put another thing on your to-do list: finding a good mechanic. The fact that a vehicle is used doesn’t imply that it’s not in good condition, but you should be extra careful about it and make sure that it goes through a thorough inspection by someone you trust before you sign anything.

      You May Need To Haggle

      I saved the most difficult for the end—this is something you either have in you or you don’t. If you’re like me and get embarrassed at the mention of money, you’ll need help with getting a car from someone who’s highly capable in negotiating for you and lowering the price until it’s reasonable.

      Advertising

      I know this sounds scary when you lack the necessary experience—the only thing you need in order to complete this project successfully is time. When you take things slow, go through all of your options and do your research properly you will manage to get yourself a vehicle that meets your needs.

      Image Credit: Car in the snow via https://www.pexels.com/photo/car-road-snow-winter-12875/ Woman on car via https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-shirt-laying-on-green-car-hood-29842/

      Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via pexels.com

      More by this author

      Being Asked a Tricky Interview Question? Give These Skillful Responses to Earn Extra Time 6 Useful Gadgets Every Proud Workaholic Should Own How Not to Get Ripped Off When Buying Your First Car How to Show Affection without Looking Needy or Being Clingy When Things Get Serious: How to Go from “Single” to “In a Relationship”

      Trending in Money

      1 How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt 2 How to Use Debt Snowball to Get out from a Financial Avalanche 3 How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money 4 The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind 5 How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on March 4, 2019

      How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

      How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

      Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

      I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

      Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

      Advertising

      Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

      Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

      Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

      I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

      Advertising

      I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

      If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

      Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

      The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

      Advertising

      Using Credit Cards with Rewards

      Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

      You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

      I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

      Advertising

      So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

      What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

      Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

      Read Next