How to Buy a Car

photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery

When looking to buy a car, you can either choose to purchase from a dealership or from a private seller.  Buying a car from a dealership can be beneficial for your first car because you will be able to finance the purchase.  That is, to get a loan for your car and make monthly payments.  When buying from a private seller, you must be able to pay in full.  Vehicles are typically cheaper when bought from an individual. First, do some research and figure out what kind of car you want.

Things to consider are:

  • Body style (Truck, SUV, Car)
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Exterior and interior design
  • Gas mileage
  • Safety rating
  • Price

Once you have figured out the kind of car that you want, make an appointment with a dealership or individual to see the car.  Go for a test drive. Settle in, adjust the seat and mirrors, and fasten your seatbelt.

Take note:

  • Is the car easy to start?
  • Does the engine turn over easily
  • Are the gears easy to shift?
  • Does the clutch engage with no abnormal sounds or hesitation?
  • Is there any unusual noise or hesitation while changing gears?
  • Are the brakes strong? Do they make noise?
  • Is there a pull to either side as you step on the brakes?
  • Does the car have good acceleration?
  • Do the turn signals work?
  • Is the car easy to maneuver during lane changes?
  • Are there any blind spots?
  • Does the car idle steadily during stops?
  • Is the car easy to park?
  • Do the A/C and heat work?

carfax-logo-785x505.fw_.pngAsk to see the Carfax report.  The report will show you if the car has a valid title, if the car has been in an accident (or flood or fire), how many times its changed ownership, maintenance is done on the vehicle, and when and where the car was built.

kelley-blue-book-logo-vectorGet information on the value of the car from Kelly Blue Book. This resource will figure in the age, model, and wear and tear of the vehicle to determine the car’s worth. It is a valuable negotiation tool.

Follow Gradeuxity to the next section on securing car insurance.