Top Tips for First-Time Car Buyers

Top Tips for First-Time Car Buyers


Buying a car may be the first big purchase that you make make in your life. This is particularly true for young adults, and you may not have a lot of money to go out and pay cash for a car. If you are new to the world of buying a car, there are some things that you need to know, so here are some of our top tips that we have for first-time car buyers.


What Do You Want?

You need to decide what you want from a car before you go out and buy one. There are a number of things you should consider in advance; things such as these:


?      How many passengers will you regularly have?

?      Do you have a long commute to work or school?

?      Do you need a lot of cargo space?

?      How much parking space do you have?

?      Do you have money for a down payment, and how much?

?      How much can you comfortably afford in monthly payments?


These are all things that you are going to need to take into consideration, and the list goes on. You need to be practical when you are looking for a car and not buy something that does not fit everything you need it to. For example, if you are regularly going to have four passengers, you should not be buying a small car that has a cramped back seat. This is going to be impractical and potentially a waste of money. If you have a long commute, you should consider a car that is very comfortable and gets good gas mileage, You should do some research prior to searching for a makes and models that will be suitable for you and your needs. If you do this, you will have an idea of what you are looking for and will be less likely to become distracted by other cars on the dealer’s lot. 


Check Insurance Coverage and Rates

Buying a car is going to be pointless if you can’t afford to pay the insurance cost. Auto insurance can be expensive, especially if you are a teenager and have recently gotten your driver’s license. Monthly insurance rates can easily be a couple of hundred dollars and that’s on top of your monthly car payments. Before you find a car that you are considering purchasing, it’s best to check out insurance rates to find coverage that will provide you with adequate protection at a reasonable price. That will help you compute your affordable total monthly costs.


Lifetime Costs

Over time, your car is going to need regular servicing and possible repairs. Estimating these costs in advance, and adding them to loan payments and insurance, will help you determine an overall monthly auto budget that you can safely handle.


But don’t forget something that a lot of people seem to overlook, fuel. Fuel is expensive, especially if your car will require high-test, and it is something you may need a lot of if you expect to put a lot of miles on the car. It’s important to consider this in conjunction with the actual vehicle you are looking to buy, and you may have to re-evaluate the type and the cost to purchase that vehicle. 


Consider Buying Used

Buying the same brand and model car pre-owned car instead of brand new will definitely save you a lot of money. Most first-time car buyers can’t afford to go out and buy a brand new car without financing because of how expensive new-car prices have become. For this reason, you should think about buying a used car. Some people may not like the idea of having a car that has had previous owners, but this isn’t such a big problem when it can save you thousands of dollars. Buying a used vehicle will often decrease a down payment requirement, lower your monthly payments, and reduce the monthly cost of insurance. In addition to age of the driver, insurance premiums are based on the vehicle’s age and estimated repair costs, so insurance rates for an older car will be lower than the premiums for a new one.


A used car dealership is the best place that you can go to buy a pre-owned car or truck. You might look on an internet site like Craigslist, but you will probably find it will benefit you more to buy from a used car dealer This is especially true if you need assistance getting approved for an auto loan. When buying from a private seller you’re on your own to pay cash or to get a car loan, handle the transfer of ownership paperwork, and the majority of vehicle sold privately are sold on an As-Isbasis. An established used car dealership, such as Highline Automotive, will help you find a quality vehicle that fits your needs, financing that’s within your budget, handle the paperwork, and will often provide a warranty based on mileage or time. 


Don’t Jump on The First Car You See

You might think that that you will find the perfect car on the first look around, but this is almost never going to be the case. Even if you think you did find the perfect car on your first visit to a dealership, don’t be overly anxious. On the other hand, don’t fall in love with a car and automatically pass it up to wait for something better to come along. Take your time and evaluate all the factors involved before you make a final decision. It is also helpful to have a relative or friend with you that has car buying experience to offer advice and guidance.


Take It for A Test Drive

Ask the seller if you can take the car for a test drive. This way you will be able to get a feel for the car, how it drives, how comfortable you are in the driver’s seat and how it handles when driving it. Some people may find that there are some cars they just don’t feel comfortable with. This can be for whatever reason, and usually it will be that it just doesn’t feel right. This is why you shouldn’t purchase any vehicle before you have had a chance to test drive it and see how you like it. Most used car dealers will be happy to let you take a test drive as long as you allow one of their employees to go with you. If you can’t test drive it, do not buy it.



It never hurts to try negotiating with the seller, as long as you are being realistic with any offers you make. Before you start negotiating, have in mind a price that you think is fair and that you think the seller will accept. This is where you want your negotiations to end up, but sometimes they may not be willing to budge, and their first price will be their final price. However, you might find that a used car dealer may be open to offers and negotiation. The best way to begin is to start with an offer slightly below the price you had in mind, which could pave the way for further negotiations, Ideally, you might find that you settle on an amount somewhere in between their first offer and yours. When negotiating with a dealership, keep in mind that the dealer had to pay for the vehicle too, and he needs to make a profit on the cars sold to stay in business.


Get It Inspected

Before you sign the contract to buy a car from a private seller, it is very important to have it inspected by a mechanic. You are going to want to know if the car has any faults before you commit to buying it. Even if the vehicle drove well during a test drive, this is something that is important to do. If you don’t, you might end up with a car that’s full of unseen problems and you are the one who is going to have to pay to get them fixed. Don’t forget, unless you are offered a warranty from the seller, all responsibility for the car and any problems it may have will fall on you. 


This is just one more reason for purchasing from a used car dealership instead of a private seller. Reputable dealers will put their vehicles through safety and mechanical inspections and make any necessary adjustments and repairs before putting them up for sale. Some dealerships will also provide warranties and even money-back guarantees, eliminating the need to have the vehicle inspected by a third party before the purchase.


Avoid A Lease

Sometimes people think this is the best option because they can have the car they want with lower monthly payments. While this may be tempting, there are a number of drawbacks to auto leasingthat you need to be aware of:

·      Higher down payment requirements

·      Higher insurance costs

·      Limited annual mileage limits, often only 10,000/year

·      Overages results in additional cost/mile at lease end

·      Damage and excessive wear lessee’s responsibility

·      Penalty charge if vehicle is not purchased at lease end


For those that do purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease, you are wind up paying much more than the original sale price.


Read the Contract

Buying a car is a big commitment, and you want to make sure that you are getting what works for you. For this reason, you need to make sure that you read the contract before you sign it be certain that it includes everything you had discussed with the seller. It is possible that if you don’t read this carefully, the seller may have included something in there that you don’t agree with or omitted something that you verbally agreed to. Once you sign the contract, it becomes a legally binding agreement, and you have to uphold any conditions that have been set out in the contract. You don’t want to be stuck in this kind of situation as there is usually no way out. This could be the case with private sellers, but it is unlikely that you will find a car dealer who will do this to you. In any case, though, make sure you have read the contract completely.


We hope that you find these tips for buying your first car helpful. It can seem like an overwhelming process and will take a lot of thought and research. But ultimately, if you follow these tips and put them into practice, you should end up with the right car at the right price. 


To get you to that end result, Highline Automotive is ready to help make that happen. Here’s how:


Large Selection of Quality Pre-Owned Vehicles

At Highline Automotive, we only select and sell pre-owned cars that meet our rigorous standards. Every vehicle in our inventorygoes through a 99-Point Certification  

Process, and a Safety and Mechanical Inspection. This means you can drive away feeling confident that the decision you made to buy your car at Highline was a smart purchase.


Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty and Extended Warranty Options

We provide a FREE 30-day or 1,500-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on every single pre-owned car, truck, and SUV we sell. And if you decide to purchase an extended warranty, we offer a simple, affordable pricing structure and finance experts that can 

help you get the best protection for your vehicle.


Confidence with Your Purchase

Every vehicle we sell comes with a 5-Day Money-Back Guarantee!


Auto Financing for Everyone

We offer flexible financingprograms that can accommodate any credit, including no credit history, with 60-second pre-approvals, and fast and easy approvals. We work to your budget, listen to your needs, and tailor a payment plan to suit you. It’s all designed to make car buying at Highline Automotive fast, simple and straightforward. 


So, when you are ready for your first car, truck, or SUV make Highline Automotive your first and only choice!



Categories: Pre-Owned Inventory

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