Buying A Car? Here's 5 Things You Need To Know First
Updated: May 29
Let's be real, growing up... no one ever talks to us girls about cars. For the most part, the only things we care about are: does it ride good, look good, and does it have AC?
After my own "car- adventures", I've realized that when it comes to car shopping, there's sooooo much more that we should know!
First off, car shopping is difficult and also a pain in the butt. Unless your dad, bf, or some other figure taught you the ins and outs of selecting your dream car, unfortunately, many women end up just as clueless as I was.
So, after seeking some trustworthy advice with my purchases, here are a 5 great things all of you car-shopping gals should know before making that major decision.
1) The going rate
Before buying any car, you want to make sure you know the average cost of the vehicle you're looking to buy. The Kelley Blue Book is a great resource to help you figure out a car's market value compared to the seller's pricing. This will be super beneficial when it comes to negotiating and calculating your import fees/taxes.
2) The Carfax
Once you narrow down your options, your next course of action is to know the carfax. This can be done by finding the VIN number and either googling it or putting it into a vehicle history website. A good, free, option is Vincheck. There, you'll be able to tell if the vehicle has been recalled, has water damage, a salvaged title etc. You don't want to make any purchase without doing a thorough check of the vehicle --- It will save you in the long run and help you avoid any future problems and/or expenses.
3) Have a checklist
Though we are making moves towards mutual respect and equality, the sad reality is, if you're a female shopping for a car, some men will try to get over on you. Most of them assume we don't know anything about cars; so, make sure you're thoroughly prepared when you go to inspect a vehicle. If you can, take a mechanic with you or someone you trust, so you don't forget to look at or ask anything. If you can't physically look at the car, ask as many questions as you can over the phone! P.S.- Once you know what you want to buy, you can find some good checklists on Google.
4) Test Drive
You know the saying, all that glitters isn't gold? Well, the same applies for cars. Everything may be nice and dandy on the outside; but, you need to know how the car drives as well. If you're unable to physically test drive the car, have someone else do it for you! I've tested several cars I thought I would've loved and found out that they didn't drive well OR that I just didn't feel comfortable. As someone who likes to be happy when I spend a lot of money, I need a feeling of long term security and this is something that everyone should have! Test driving your future vehicle ensures that you have that feeling!
5) Know Your Budget and STICK TO IT
Sometimes, we see something we love that's out of our price range and with the not-so gentle coaxing of the seller, we convince ourselves to splurge. Don't. Do. It. Know your budget and stick to it. If you can't afford to spend the extra dollars, you don't want to be in debt over a purchase that depreciates as soon as you drive it. When creating your budget, don't forget to factor in the cost of insurance, licensing, inspecting, importing/ sales tax etc. Those costs add up and can impact your overall budget.
With that, we say happy shopping!!