Rock Talk

Tips for First Time Car Buyers

Last updated on November 20, 2019 at 10:53 am

For the past 45 years, the third Monday of every February has been designated by the federal government as Washington’s Birthday. It’s also known colloquially as Presidents Day.

A quick aside: Washington was born on February 11, 1731, according to the then-used Julian calendar. But, in 1752, Britain and all its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar, which moved Washington’s Birthday a year and 11 days to February 22, 1732, according to the National Archives.

At any rate, the holiday gives employees of the federal government, and some companies, a three-day weekend. It can also come with a little opportunity. Presidents Day weekend is full of deals for the savvy car buyer, so it could be a good time to pick up your first car.

If you’re new to car shopping, or just haven’t done it in a while, check out these tips for first time car buyers from Plymouth Rock Assurance:

Take it Slow
The first rule of car buying: know your car needs. Make a list of your car must-haves by asking yourself questions such as: Do I need a pickup or passenger car? Is performance or luxury vital? How much do I value fuel economy? Will this be a commuter car or weekend car?

Be Realistic
A budget is important. You need to know whether you can afford a new or used vehicle and then how you plan on paying for it. If you need help calculating what you can afford, try this tool. Be sure to ask about estimated maintenance costs.

Window Shop
Once you know what you need and can afford, then you can think about what you want. This is your first car so have fun and get something that you will be happy with over the long-run.

Shop Around
One of the biggest mistakes a first-time car buyer can make is not doing research. There are tons of options and decisions to be made when buying a car, starting with all of the available features and stretching all the way to figuring out how you will pay for the car. So compare prices and deals, and make sure you know if an extra cup holder really matters to you.

Visiting the Dealership
The car buying process can be a confusing one. It doesn’t get any clearer once you walk into a dealership. Are we negotiating? Is that the real price? Is VIN-etching really $300? Consider your needs, wants, budget and research. Pick the car you are looking for before you ever go to a dealership. Once you know what you want, stick to it.

Walk Away
The best-laid plans of car buyer and car dealer can go awry. Prepare to go home without a car, or try a second location if the first one doesn’t have the deal or car you’re looking for. Don’t let yourself get talked into anything less than the car you want.

More Than Just Insurance
Once you have an idea of which car you want, make sure you call your car insurance company. Every car has its own history and therefore carries its own price. Just because a car is less expensive to buy, lease, or finance, doesn’t mean it will be less expensive once you factor in insurance costs. Plus, if you’re financing the purchase, your lender may require that you have certain insurance coverages.

Going to get a new car this weekend? How did it go?

Click here for more information about insurance in your state.

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