Tips for Graduates When Buying a New Car
Graduation is perhaps the most exciting part of any young adult's life and it entails entering the 'real world' despite how intimidating it could be. It is a time for new possibilities and opportunities that can start with buying a new car.
With so many makes, models, and options to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming for graduates to decide on their first car purchase. So in this article, we will offer some helpful tips and pieces of advice for grads on choosing the right car for their life ahead.
#1: Think Practically
You may want your first car purchase to make a statement and to show off to your friends and family, as it's easy to get caught up in the many bells and whistles that are found in new modern cars. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is important that you slow down and think practically before being carried away.
For instance, the car you want to purchase should be one you can afford and can meet your everyday life needs. It will be great if you can find a car with all the requirements you need that packs some cool features, but if not, it's best to start with the practical and work it out from there. Performance and long lifespan should be your main aim as you will probably have to keep this car for a few years.
#2: Get what you need, not what you want
Between the lines of practical thinking, it is good to think about what you need and not what you want. As the difference can get blurry sometimes, make a list of what your wants and needs, and prioritize the needs before the wants when car shopping.
#3: Plan your budget
Buying a new vehicle can be too expensive for a one-time cash payment, so you might want to consider financing your car. If so, it is best you plan your budget and think about how much your monthly payments will be, so you do not end up paying your whole salary every month. You also need to consider some extra expenses like maintenance, fuel, insurance, and warranty.
#4: Plan for a down payment
A down payment is not a necessity when purchasing a new vehicle, but it sure can help you lower your monthly payments. If you are able to save some cash for a down payment, you could get a shorter loan term and lower monthly payments.
#5: Think of the big picture
We advise you to think of the bigger picture and ask yourself why you need to purchase a new car rather than focus on just the purchase process. Make sure your new car is suitable for your everyday life, work commute, and any favorite hobbies of yours. This purchase needs to fit your entire lifestyle and not just a part of it.
#6: Find a dealership
Your best and perhaps most cost-effective option is to purchase your new car from a dealership. Whether you want a new car or a pre-owned vehicle, most dealerships can help you finance your purchase no matter your credit score, and as you are a fresh graduate, you probably will not have a credit history, to begin with.
To help you with your dealership search, we will recommend our top three dealership recommendations that offer automotive services all across the U.S while offering customizable finance options.
Carvana is our top pick for one of the best dealerships in the U.S. It is also the most popular as it offers a complete online purchase process. You can browse its website for over 25,000 certified pre-owned vehicles, and after your purchase, Carvana will deliver your car to your doorstep.
Carvana allows you to borrow up to $85,000 with a maximum loan term of 72 months. Prequalification will not leave any mark on your credit report and will stay valid for 45 days.
Our second recommendation goes for DriveTime. It is one of the most highly trusted dealerships in the U.S, with an A+ rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. DriveTime offers over 11,000 to shop from and has over 130 dealership locations across the U.S.
The dealership also offers great services and benefits; these include:
- Money-back guarantee
- Basic warranty
- DriveCare program
- Powertrain coverage
- GAP coverage
CarMax is our last dealership recommendation. It has been in the automotive industry since 1993. You get to browse through over 50,000 certified pre-owned vehicles that all come with a 7-day money-back guarantee and exchange policy.
CarMax also allows you to discontinue your purchase process at any moment if you change your mind, as it follows a no-haggle policy.