When I graduated high school and moved away to college, my parents were kind enough to buy me a car. It was a 2005 Ford Focus…nothing to get too excited about, but it did the job of transporting me from school to my parent’s home safely and got good fuel mileage.
Fast forward to 2016, and it was time for an upgrade. I had never bought a car on my own before, and to be honest, the whole car-buying experience was a bit frightening to me. Luckily, I decided to buy my first car from Bob Moore Subaru and ended up with a 2015 Crosstrek, which I absolutely love. The entire ordeal of going to a dealership, haggling with a salesman, and signing on the dotted line wasn’t nearly as scary as I had thought it would be. So, based on my experiences buying my first car, here are three things I would recommend you keep in mind when you head to a dealership to buy your first (or next) car.
- Make the car match your lifestyle. I love sports cars! There is nothing sexier than the growl of a 600HP engine under the hood, but since I have a 2-year old daughter with a car seat and a dog who weighs 130lbs., a two-seater Mazda Miata wasn’t really an option for me. I needed a smaller SUV or crossover that would fit my needs. So although a Dodge Challenger might be your dream car, if you have a large family and need a new vehicle to haul the kiddos to soccer practice in, you might be better off get a larger vehicle. Alternatively, if all your children are out of the house, it might be wise to trade out your minivan for an Audi A5.
- Once you’ve decided on which make and model you want, go for a long test-drive. You need to experience how the car handles in stop-and-go traffic, as well as how it handles on the highway. Luckily for me, Bob Moore Subaru is located right by Broadway Extension, so I was able to take my Crosstrek out on the highway and put it through its paces. Then, we ventured up into Edmond, where we all know traffic can get a bit hairy at times. When the vehicle performed the way I wanted it to in both driving situations, I knew I had hit gold.
- Determine if you can really afford the vehicle you’re thinking about purchasing. Of course we would all love to drive a Maserati or a Cadillac, but for most of us, purchasing this type of vehicle is not financially possible. Be realistic with how the monthly payments are going to affect your pocketbook each month. And if purchasing the vehicle is going to be too expensive of a monthly payment, consider leasing it instead.
My car was the second largest purchase I have made, after my house, which is the case for many people. So it’s important that you are confident that you are buying the right vehicle for you.
Have you bought a new or new-to-you vehicle recently? What tips would you share with people who are contemplating purchasing a car, truck, or SUV? Share them with us in the comments section below.