It’s always good to research before you buy a car. Think about what you need, what the car will be used for, and your budget. Sources like books and the Internet can be looked into so you can know more about repair costs, safety tests, and many more.

All this research can save you some serious money and help you avoid being ripped off.

After choosing what car you want, you must then decide how you’ll pay for it. You can pay the whole amount upfront or you can finance the purchase over time. If you do go for financing, you must know that this would increase the total cost of the car.

After deciding how much you can place for the down payment, look at the loan’s annual percentage (APR) and length, and see how much your monthly dues would be.

The APR would usually be higher the shorter the loan. For teens, it would be a good idea to co-sign with your parents since you’ll be able to get a better rate that way. You should also consider using cash for payment if the car isn’t very expensive.

Dealer or Private Sale?

Now this is quite important. Buying from a dealer would cost you more. But the good thing about a dealer is that you can always go back if there is a problem. Many dealers offer warranties and guarantee the quality of the car.

Buying from an individual would mean that you would have to deal with the problems of the car that would arise after the purchase. Complaining to the previous owner is also something you can’t do. That said, buying from an individual can often offer very good value.

Firstly, they would not add a mark-up on the car’s price, which is what dealers do. And if you bring along your mechanic or someone who knows a lot about cars, you can have the car checked out to make sure everything is in good condition.

Before you buy the car, make sure you examine it with an inspection checklist. Get the car’s maintenance record and test-drive the car over different road conditions. You can also have the car inspected by a mechanic if you want to be sure.

And before making the purchase, make sure you can meet all the costs of having a car. This can include insurance, fuel, maintenance, and repairs.

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