9 Steps to Buying A Car
Buying a car can be an experience shrouded in doubt… Some of the common questions that come to mind range from: What car should I buy? How much should I spend? Am I missing anything? How do I buy a car? While all of these questions may be running through your mind, make sure you take a step back and be grateful you’re in a position to buy a car, congrats, that’s a big deal! The most important thing you should have before buying a car is a driver’s license. While anyone can buy a car, only people with licenses can drive the car off the lot. Let’s get right into it, what are the nine steps to buying a car?
Step 1: Create A Realistic Budget.
Before you start dreaming about driving away in a Porsche or a Ferrari, let’s be realistic on what you can afford. While both cars are beautiful, the last thing you want is to buy a car you can’t afford and end up having to sell or lose due to payments you can’t afford. First, think about how much you can spend monthly without compromising your financial well being. To make it easy for you, let’s discuss the 20/4/10 rule!
The 20/4/10 rule states you should make a down payment of at least 20%, lease or finance a car for no longer than 4-years and spend no more than 10% of your total monthly income. For example, if you earn $2,000 a month, your car payment should be no more than $200 including your insurance payment. Our team will gladly help you with an insurance quote to make your life easier.
Step 2: Define Your Car Needs.
While many people would like to drive a Porsche, Ferrari or Buggati… these cars may not fit your needs! The questions you should be asking yourself include:
- How many people will I need to fit into my car?
- How much storage do I need?
- What can I afford to spend on gas?
- What can I afford to pay for maintenance?
- Many people don’t consider maintenance or gas expenses when they’re buying a car and end-up regretting buying the car due to high expenses!
Step 3: Research Your Options.
The internet has a number of great car comparison tools that cover everything from estimated gasoline, maintenance and ownership costs to the reliability of vehicles and reviews.
Step 4: Find A Trustworthy Dealer.
Many people dread the car buying experience because they’re scared to deal with car salesmen. While we don’t have anything against car salesmen, many services have been created to simplify the car buying experience. If this is your first car, we recommend looking at used cars as car ownership can be complicated and confusing. We don’t want you to spend all of your hard-earned money on a shiny new car, only to lose it due to poor maintenance habits or an accident. I mean who would’ve guessed cars use oil! We recommend getting quotes from a few car dealerships and try to negotiate the best offer! Remember, you’re spending your hard-earned money!
Step 5: Take A Test Drive!
Before you buy a car, make sure to take a test drive to ensure everything is up to your standards. When buying used cars, be cautious of cars sold “as is” as they can be a headache.
Step 6: Negotiate A Great Price!
While the salesperson helping you may be very friendly and patient, make sure you’re negotiating a great price! Try to negotiate a price and package that will make the most sense for you financially! You are the buyer, you have the control, and you should be buying what is best for you. There are a lot of options in the market, and you can always go elsewhere for a better deal!
Step 7: Buy The Car!
After you’ve narrowed down your options, you need to decide how you are going to purchase your car. You have a few options:
- Finance your car and pay your car down across a few months through a loan.
- Lease your car for a few years. We do not recommend leasing a car longer than 5-years but make your decision based on your needs and financial situation.
- You can purchase the car outright or in other words, cash!
Step 8: Protect Your Car!
Now that the hard part is out of the way, you need to get that new car insured! Many people forget they need to get insurance for their cars. Insurance can be an experience just as confusing, if not more confusing than buying a car. Some of the questions we typically hear are: What’s the best policy for me? What coverage is going to protect both me and my family? Why do the prices range so much? We understand how frustrating it can be to find the right insurance that meets your coverage and budget needs. Leave your insecurity behind and drive away with the confidence you deserve after working with our team to find the best insurance policy for you and your family.
Step 9: Enjoy The Car Buying Process And Your New Car!
If you followed the above 9-steps, you’ll be driving a new car that fits within your budget, meets your needs, and is exactly what you wanted! Congratulations on your new car!!! As you may have noticed by the above steps, you don’t have to be an expert to buy a car. You can do anything you put your mind to if you take your time, research the topic, keep your options open, and do what is best for you.
Call us today if you have any questions!
We’d love to help you make sure your new car is protected along with you and your family!
17 thoughts on “Guide: How Do I Buy A Car?”
Thank you for your tips on how to buy a car. I found it helpful when you said to negotiate a deal that meets your financial needs. My husband and I are thinking of buying a car soon.
Hey Elisabeth! We’re super excited to hear you’re thinking about buying a car! If you need any help or have any questions, feel free to reach out. We love helping people!
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I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!
I like that you mentioned that it is important to avoid purchasing a car that you can’t afford. My wife and I want to get a new vehicle that does well in the snow because our current one doesn’t handle very well in bad conditions. I imagine that it would be important to get a new auto insurance policy when getting a new vehicle as well.
Yes, that’s correct! When it comes time to purchase insurance for your new car, we can help you get insured! Good luck with buying your new car, we hope you enjoy it!!!
A detailed guide for buying a car. Thank you for sharing such valuable information.
Of course! It’s our pleasure!
The most helpful guide i have ever read. Thank you.
My friend owns a few classic cars but he does not have them insured. I like how you said that many people forget to get car insurance coverage. I will suggest to him to start looking for car insurance policies so that he does not have to worry if any accident occurs.
Hey Derek! Happy to hear you enjoyed our article! Have your friend reach out to us, we provide coverage for classic cars in all 50 states!
I like how you mention that it is important to know what your needs are when purchasing a new car like how many people need to fit. My husband and I have been wanting to buy a new car since we have had the same one since high school. I think we should find a car that fits our needs and then get a good car loan so we can afford it right now.
That’s great! Well, when the time comes, feel free to reach out to us! We’d love to help you get insurance on your new vehicle!
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Start by deciding if you want to pay cash, take out a loan, or lease your new car. Paying cash makes your budgeting process pretty simple, but don’t spend all your savings. And remember that you will also have to pay sales tax, registration and insurance. Use the NerdWallet auto loan calculator to figure out the right monthly payment and down payment.
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I’m planning to buy an SUV this coming month, which is why I’ve decided to start looking for auto insurance because this will protect my finances, just in case a car accident occurs. Well, I agree with you that it would be best to consider the storage capacity and maintenance cost of the vehicle. Thank you for also informing us of the importance of looking for a reputable dealer.