If you're a college student and have saved up a sum of money for your first car, you might want to think about your purchase before you go straight and buy the first thing you see.
Buying your first car usually comes with a lot of pressure as you want to get the best for your money and you can't really afford to make the wrong choice. Don't let that pressure get the best of you! All you actually have to do is make a list of a few things and assess where you stand before you start entertaining choices.
It is very important that before making a purchase, you know exactly what you are looking for instead of suddenly stumbling in and falling in love with the first car you see that could probably have a negative effect on your finances or might not live up to your expectations.
Here are the first things to consider before even buying your first car:
Never try to buy something you can't afford no matter how nice it looks or how cool you probably think you look riding it. Failure to do this could cause a serious financial problem later on. Take note, you're still a college student so your main priority should be paying for school-related expenses and not just your car.
Assess how much you are capable of paying and commit yourself to that price range. Of course, you want your price range to be realistic and not too low. Make sure you assess your capabilities and find out just how much are you capable of spending.
Should you buy a new car or a used one?
This is another great thing to look at since this allows you to get the car right now without having to pay the full amount. Of course, this comes with a few implications you should be aware of.
The first thing to look at when you think of financing options is how much are you capable of paying per month along with how long do you plan to pay? The sooner you can pay off your debt, the better. Of course, this all still depends on how much you are able to come up with every month.
Once again, be realistic with your budgeting and make sure that your monthly due for the car would not massively cripple your finances.
Also, learn the art of negotiating for a better deal on leasing your vehicle or availing an auto loan. Would it be cheaper to loan from the bank or should you avail the car dealer's option of leasing the vehicle?
Parking, size, maneuverability, efficiency
Be realistic about your first car. Will you be able to park a big car or should you get a smaller one? Will a bigger car be easier to drive around the area or would a smaller one do the trick? How much should you budget on gas per month? How much on maintenance?