Sep 8, 2008

Tips on Buying New Car

Buying your first car is an important milestone for all of us. When approached properly, it is usually a time-consuming, frustrating, yet exhilarating process, and it's best to devise a plan before you head out to the car lots.
I did some R&D over this issue and concluded on the following tips. These may be useful when you are planning for your first car.

Before You Buy A Car

The beginning is not the point at which you start looking at cars. The beginning is the point at which you start doing some research. Before you begin searching for the perfect first car, you should first ask yourself:
  • How much money can i spend on a car ? (includes car price, titling and registration)
  • What kind of car best suites my needs ? (it includes anything from 'number of passengers' travelling or 'mileage' if you are on long-drives frequently)
  • Should i buy a new or used car ? (depends on person-to-person status and needs)
  • How long do i plan to keep the car?
Once you are done with these questions, you can start thinking of the exact models and makes of cars you're interested in. Do some research on these vehicles, such as reading up on their safety ratings, as well as the rate of theft for those particular vehicles.

Check out the Car

Before you make the purchase…
  • Test-drive the car.
  • Have a certified auto mechanic inspect the car.
  • Look over the exterior of the car for any damages, like dings or scratches.
  • Make sure the spare tire and equipment are where they should be, and that the tire is inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Make sure all the hubcaps and body moldings are in place.
  • Make sure all electrical items properly function.
  • Check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the car to ensure it matches the one on the contract.
  • Ask the salesperson to demonstrate each accessory, like setting the clock or turning on the lights.
  • Ask the salesperson how to check the oil, coolant transmission fluid and battery.
  • Make sure you have the owner’s manual, warranty forms and all legal documents. Read these materials carefully before you drive away.
  • If you find a used car you like, consider requesting a vehicle history report for it and find out if the vehicle is salvaged, has been in an accident, or has had odometer changes.

The Paperwork
  • Don’t sign any papers until you’ve negotiated the details of a deal. Shop around at several dealerships, and narrow your choices to several cars. Don’t make the mistake of having your heart set on one car–it may reduce your bargaining power.
  • Compare dealer costs with prices listed. This will show you how much bargaining room you have on the basic car and individual options.
  • Consider bringing an experienced car shopper to help you negotiate.
  • Get a firm quote in writing from the dealer.
  • Keep negotiations separate. Consider questions about financing, service contracts, trade-ins, or other extras after you have settled on a price.
  • Shop around for financing and service contracts, and carefully compare the terms. Read and understand the contract thoroughly before signing it.


You've just bought your first car! If you purchased the car from a private seller, you'll need to take a few more steps to handle the titling and registration process.

However, if you purchased it from a dealership, all of the paperwork has been handled for you. You'll be given a temporary license plate to use until your permanent one arrives.

Avoiding Common Customer Complaints

Most used cars are sold “as is.” “As is” means just that–any repairs are your responsibility.

“I thought I had a 72-hour return period to return the car.”
You do not have a 72-hour return period unless specifically stated in your contract.

“The salesperson promised!”
Your contract generally has a clause which releases the dealership from any verbal promises made by the salesperson or other employees. Get it in writing or the dealership will not consider it part of the agreement.

“The price or finance rate on the contract wasn’t what was verbally agreed upon.”
Make sure to read over the contract before you sign it to ensure it’s what you verbally agreed upon. Never sign a contract with blank spaces.

“I found the same car at another dealership for a lot less.”
A business has the right to charge whatever they choose. Comparison shop before you sign a contract.

Regardless of the route you choose, try to take someone along who's been through the buying and selling process. Prices are usually negotiable, so you'll want someone who knows the ropes to accompany you. And, if your Uncle Billy just happens to be a mechanic―well, he should be your first choice.

I tried to put together most of the basic criteria one must follow when purchasing a first car. Yet, every individual has their own maiden expirience in this deal. So, if i missed out on anything or you wish to add , all are welcome.


  1. very useful information to buy a car. But honestly, my current financial situation is not very good to buy a car... any way I'll check out yours when the time comes to that so... Thanks

  2. Excellent information. It's nice to see people offering helpful information to people who don't know all the details! Props to you!


  3. thanks for the appreciation. Basically you must be clear about what you want/CAN buy, right from the beginning.

  4. Very informative tips indeed in buying a car,

    A good article for those who want to buy this first time car...

    Keep on posting @_raj...

  5. This is a very good article for those who are looking to buy their first vehicle. One of the most important things you want to invest in is a WARRANTY! I bought a used car from Carmax and it has had some kind of problem come up almost every other month. If I hadn't purchased a warranty, I'd be paying a lot of money out of my pocket. If you're going to make the investment of purchasing a car, make sure you protect your investment.

  6. I'll keep that in mind when buying my first car in the future.

  7. @ brannon :
    yes, Warranty is a crucial part of the car deal. One must be very clear over this issue before purchasing the car. Thanx brannon for highlighting this matter.

  8. Very interesting post. Sure we have to know almost everything before we throw our money.

  9. warranty... performance and economy. Gas prices are going up... I'll stick to my bike. LOL^_^

  10. Wow. that is a classic article and lots of use for me. I am happy to see such article because, this week I am going with my friend to see and buy a car. Lots of nice information to take care. Keep it up

    Sherin - Investinternals

  11. ok thx it's very usefull article for me.

  12. Very nice article. I wish I would have had this before I bought my first car!