Tips for First-Time Car Buyers

Tips for First-Time Car Buyers

Image of a customer buying her first car, at the dealership with a car salesman

Buying a car for the very first time is an exciting step! At RightRide, we are here to provide you with the necessary tips to help you navigate the nuances of buying a car for the first time. So there’s no need to worry, we’ve got the right advice for you, read on to learn more!


It’s Time to Do Some Investigating!

Like any process that involves buying or trading-in a vehicle, it’s always important to do some preliminary research before stepping into a dealership. First of all, it is important to know what you want out of a vehicle depending on your needs and lifestyle. Some questions to consider are: Who will be in the car with you? How far do you have to drive every day? What are your “must-haves”? So even though a sports car might look cool, it’s probably not the best option for our harsh Canadian winters. And it’s also important to make sure not to get a vehicle that has more features than you need, because these extra features will factor into your monthly payments or the overall cost of the vehicle if you choose to pay it outright.
Once you have a better idea of what you are looking for and what’s available on the market, establish a realistic budget. Make sure to have in mind what you can afford while ensuring your basic needs are all covered: food, shelter, clothing... When making your budget also take into consideration insurance, gas and vehicle maintenance. Now it’s time to go shopping and visit your local dealership!

Let’s Go Shopping

When at the dealership, do not allow yourself to be pressured into buying a car and don’t discuss or reveal a monthly payment amount but rather focus on the overall price of the vehicle (make sure it’s within your budget). While negotiating, start low, it’s easier to work your way up on the price. When it comes to financing, make sure to also look for options at the bank, credit union... And most importantly, take the car for a test drive. This is surprisingly a very crucial step that some people skip. If possible, test drive the vehicle for at least 30 minutes and try freeway merging and speeds, also pay attention to the wheel adjustment, steering feel, brakes, and any leaks… It’s important to focus on finding a reliable car, the last thing you want is a vehicle that is going to start breaking down shortly after you purchase it. Many dealers offer a complimentary Carfax vehicle history report, so you can see whether the vehicle has been in any accidents and what maintenance work has been done on it.


More Tips

  • For a first-time car buyer, we highly recommend buying a used vehicle because of the slower depreciation and lower insurance cost. And once you get your first vehicle, you can start saving up for a new vehicle.
  • If you ever come across someone that drives a car you are interested in, take the time to ask them about their ownership experience, this information might be really valuable to you.