While buying a car is an exciting experience, it can be daunting, as well. Investing in a car is comparable to buying a house or a college education, if usually a little cheaper. But because of the vast array of vehicle choices before you, buying a car becomes exponentially more difficult. Are you looking for a yellow bug for the city or a rough-and-tumble truck? Do you want to go electric or stick with a car that requires gas? Does the size, color, or manufacturer matter to you? Before those questions come, there are a few essential hoops to jump through first. Make sure you have these four tasks checked off before driving off into the sunset in your brand new ride.
- Drivers License & Registration
Okay, this might be a little obvious, but it’s easy to overlook! A driver’s license is an essential component before buying a car, but other paperwork is needed, as well. Your insurance card, two recent pay stubs, and proof of residency are all typically required, as well.
Car insurance is essential for any driver, no matter how old or skilled they are. While tragic, accidents do happen — in the U.S. alone, more than 90 people die from car accidents every day. Make sure you’re a safe driver and have your insurance on hand. If the worst ever comes to pass, this will be necessary for your car accident lawyer.
3 Money for a Deposit & Future Repairs
Owning a car is expensive! While it’s a good idea to make sure you have a clear idea of what kind of deposit you can put down before buying, it’s important to think long-term, as well. Gas, of course, can add up. Run-of-the-mill repairs are also inevitable. If you’re looking to buy a classic ‘69 Chevy Camaro, replacement parts might make its original, reasonable cost soar. Be sure you factor in future financial decisions into your car purchase.
Perhaps this is the most essential step on your journey toward car ownership. Shop around and visit different car websites and dealerships to find a car that best fits your needs. Learn some of the vocabulary — what’s the difference between a four-cylinder and a six-cylinder vehicle, for example? Check out consumer reviews, test drive potential purchases, and look up the repair records of specific makes and models. It’s also important to know your rights: understand your dealership’s warranty package and return policies. Doing this research beforehand will give you the confidence you need to proceed with a purchase.
Once you have all four of these steps in mind, purchasing a car should seem a little less daunting. While still no easy feat, to make it easier, be sure to keep your goals in mind and have an honest expectation of what you can afford. From acquiring a drivers license and proper paperwork to figuring out your finances, there are a number of steps — all important, and all manageable. Best of luck as you drive into this journey!