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What to expect when buying a car for a first time buyer from the Dealership!

Updated on November 14, 2014

My dream car :)

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Research

Crystal's View:

Buying a new or used car from the dealership for the first time can be exciting, but can also make you nervous. Therefore, do your research! Find out what vehicles interest you before heading off to a dealership. Once you are there, finding something you like can be tedious with the major variety of vehicles there which can lead to frustration. You want to have the best possible experience when buying your first car so read on.

My advice to you is run your credit score. See what position you fall in credit wise, because all the dealerships you go to will run one as well. You need to make sure you are in a good position to even buy a car. If your score is low, realize that your APR (Interest) on the vehicle will be much higher with a low score (and the APR is usually higher for first time car buyers). If you don't want to take a hit on your credit score every time they run one for each vehicle you are interested in, you have another option.


Why Not Make it a Happy Experience!

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Pre-Approved Loans

Once you have seen and evaluated your credit score, research your personal bank loans. Look at their interest rates compared to other loan opportunities. You are going to have to pay for this vehicle for a good number of years (usually 4-6 yrs) so having a low interest rate is key. If you like what you see from your bank, go in and speak to them about car loans. You can apply for a pre-approved loan. They will be able to tell you the maximum amount you should buy a vehicle at with your credit score and income, and getting a pre-approved loan is awesome. You already know exactly what you can afford before you go into the dealership. This will also help you narrow down your options of vehicles you are interested in. Like for myself, I have a beer budget with champagne taste haha. So be realistic when choosing a vehicle. You know an approximation of what you can afford.

Once at the dealership they will ask if you are putting any money down. So before going to the dealership realize that putting money down doesn't necessarily lower your payments by much but it does a great deal for lowering you interest rates. I know, so weird. Anyway, $1000 (USD) money down would only lower payments by $30-$50 (USD) but the interest rates from my own experience was like 5% difference. Which means a great deal for your credit score for the future (like if you are planning to buy a home...etc). Other companies can see that you paid a 15% interest rate for 5 years on a vehicle and want to give you the same rate. I know it sucks, so make sure to get the lowest APR you can. The people I have spoken to at these dealerships were very kind and willing to help ( because they want the sale).

Another thing when speaking to the Sales man is to negotiate price. If they really want the sale and to get the car off the lot, they will lower the price. If they don't immediately, walk away and more than likely they will change their minds if you are patient enough to wait a week and the car hasn't been sold.

I hope this was informative and helps you realize that there are many options when buying a car from the dealership!

Thanks for reading!

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