Can anyone give me any advice on buying my first car?
Have no credit, a crappy trade in, and no experience. Just hoping maybe someone on here has that experience and can help me.
The choice of used or new it's up to you and your money. But other than that, my advice would be to look around, test several models, and pick the one you feel more comfortable and is within your price range.
My brother had a good experience leasing, so that's another alternative. While my mother had a good experience buying one that the bank had taken from someone (I don't know how you say that in English).
I'm a practical guy so I don't look for luxurious models. So far, I'm on my second car. Had a good experience with the first one, bought it new, and lasted almost 10 years. It could've lasted a couple more, but I crashed it. Bought a new one about a year ago, and so far so good.
Regarding your credit, if it helps, you can always get a close relative you trust (and that trusts on you!) to co-sign for a new car. When I bought my first car, I also didn't have credit and my mom gave me her signature. So that's another option you have. Also, if you have friends in sales, talk to them. Look for advice on how to deal with salespeople. In dealers, they will always try to take advantage of you :-D
Be patient. I don't know much about your range and such but either way don't rush. Especially if taking on a payment. You want the car to outlast the payments or you can end up throwing good money after bad. If used, don't let how it looks override how it runs or you'll only look good sitting on the side of the road. You want to like the car as it will encourage you to care for it but just don't let the look be the priority. Best of luck!
Hello Keegstraa. What a delightful and interesting question. The answer could be as simple as purchase the one that catches your eye or as complicated as purchasing a luxury jet liner.
I have been in the automotive field since '72 owning a total of nine cars. The first was purchased for $300 in '72 & was a 1956 Ford Vicky. That & the next four were bought as Hot Rods. Overall the Return on those Investments (ROI) was nil or I broke even, although today they bring a pretty penny.
The next was a practical investment again for $300 only it was '78. My goal was a car requiring minimal maintenance & is very easy to work on for me, a trained professional, or a savy friend. The purpose of the "vehicle" was to go from point A to point B as economically and safely as possible. I bought a 1963 Plymouth Valiant Station Wagon & fixed it up.
Next, it was a new '82 Chev S-10 truck I drove it for 24 years. My goal then was to get the greatest Return on Investment I could get. I had to decide:
What is the purpose of the vehicle
How long was that purpose to be for
When would I be able to purchase another vehicle
What would be the anticipated expenses of repair for that time period, i.e. Brakes, Steering, Cooling System, A/C system, and Fuel/Ignition system
What would be the normal annual maintenance costs, i.e. Oil & Lube services, Tires, Alignment service, fluid replacements, and such like wiper blades. I include tires since there are choices of quality & mileage warranties. Gas would be a living expense and not a cost of transportation.
I would consider those with a new purchase or a used purchase. Ideally my view is you should receive from your investment a return of equal to what public transportation costs are above your investment. In other words if it costs to ride a bus / train "Y" dollars your total annual investment should be 1/2 of that + the "E" Factor. That factor is how much the convenience of a vehicle is "worth to you" in a value, the luxury perspective, independence, and practicality.
Ex: San Diego Regional Adult Pass = $72 ÷ 2 = $36/month x 12 months x 10 years or $4,320. Add an index for price increases to equal say 5% per year. Or, the number is now $5,434.
That is a starting point I would invest in a "around the city/county" vehicle to last 10 years. More repairs means less Return on Investment. Selling the car means an increase in ROI.
Remember, the 2nd greatest investment in the USA a person makes is a car! A house is the greatest.
We were just put in a position of needing a new-to-us car. Our old one wouldn't pass through emissions. We had one week to find another one or be out of a car all together. It was very stressful.
We knew exactly what we could afford, but we needed a payment plan. We went to a local dealer. We told them our exact budget. They were able to put us in a car that was safe and dependable, for the amount we could afford to pay.
What we liked about this experience was that the dealer has been in business almost 100 years. He has an amazing reputation. They also did everything for us. We left with the car the same day. All of the paperwork was done. We had no motor vehicle hassles. It went really smoothly. I hope you find the same in your search. Good luck to you.
Here's a few things:
1. If at all possible, pay cash for your vehicle and pay in full. This goes against the modern grain but it will save you the hassle of ongoing payments, possible default, and paying more money through interest payments. As soon as you get your next vehicle, begin saving for your next. Hopefully by the time you need to replace it, you'll have enough saved to pay in full again (plus the trade-in value).
Beware of the leasing trap. You don't have to have a car payment for the rest of your life! Aim for living a debt-free life.
2. If possible, buy from someone you know or someone locally who has connections to people you know. This can help you get more accurate info about the vehicle and someone whom you know is less likely to sell you a lemon!
3. If you are set on buying from a dealer, try to scrape together all the cash you can and purchase a vehicle for THAT amount. Don't let them talk you into a purchase that you cannot afford. If you have $3000, tell them you can only spend this amount and walk away if they won't work with you. You have the cash, you have the power.
Good luck to you!
On your credit issue, I would give you the same advice my dad gave me. If you don't have a credit history, how can you get a loan? A loan is the hardest form of credit to get, so you should start with the easiest form. A gas card. They have low limits and will pretty much accept anyone. Use the card, save the cash you would have spent on it (this is important, because if not, you will be on a credit merry-go-round, so don't start that!), take that cash and PAY THE FULL AMOUNT AT THE END OF EVERY MONTH. After some time, that will build your credit history.
Next, if you have a crappy trade in, I would re-evaluate if you NEED a car or WANT a car. So many of us feel like we are entitled to a new vehicle every few years, but this is a just what car companies want you to think. If your current car runs, is somewhat reliable, and gets you from point A to point B safely, then I would hang on to it after saving a little money and building my credit.
If you need to save money, the secret to that is go through your bank statement one or two months and look to see your spending habits. Look at the things you are buying that you WANT and just eliminate those. It is hard, but you have to decide if you want to eat fast food every day or if you want a nice reliable car. When you go to Wal-Mart, do the same thing. Only buy what you want. That place is the hardest to get out of with just the bare minimums.
A little game I play is to see how long I can go without spending money (not counting bills). This will become a habit and the next you know, your bank account will look very different!
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