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A Millennial’s Guide to Owning a Car by Peter

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By: Peter

Young folk crowd around a red truck on a show room floor

Souce: Stock image provided by Peter

Peter of Joyful Source shares much-needed insight for buying and selling your first car.

Are you kinda, sorta ready to get your first car? Or are you finally financially stable enough to upgrade to something newer and sexier?

Well, it’s okay to be nervous. Buying a car is a big purchase that requires constant attention — then couple that with the stress of investing in something you don’t have a clue about (what in God’s name is a horsepower, exactly?).

However, there are ways you can prepare for the car buying process and become a responsible car owner who knows what they’re doing.

Don’t Do Anything Without a Budget in Mind

Before you start browsing websites and reading a bunch of car information, make sure to crunch some numbers and create your budget. It’s also a great idea to learn a few things about payment methods and finance terms since the buying process can be a little tricky when it comes to terminology.

In general, don’t go over 10 or 15 percent of your income when you include car payments, interest and insurance. There are even online payment calculators that can help you with calculating payments and expenses, so you don’t have to mess with numbers too much.

Consider Your Lifestyle

Once you have a nice budget in mind, you can start browsing websites and bookmarking models you like. But don’t just consider your finances and the look of the car! Think about how you feel in an SUV vs. sedan.

Do you love to hit the beach every weekend? Or do you prefer to do brunch in your busy city? Do you live for road trips with buddies? Or you just want to enjoy a comfortable commute? Answer the questions that include your lifestyle and preferences so you’ll surely choose the right model of vehicle.

Additionally, make sure to consider the climate of your area. For instance, if you live somewhere cold, you want a reliable vehicle that can endure snow and low temperature.

Sell Your Old Vehicle

You might not want to stay without a car — no matter how bad your old car is — but if you need some help with payments, it might be smart to sell your vehicle and put some money in your pocket.

Some countries like Australia make it very easy to sell your car even if you have zero experience. You can sell your car in Sydney quickly and get more than a fair price for your vehicle. Some services even come and pick up your car while you enjoy your payout!

It’s important to sell your old car because you don’t want to pay two car maintenance costs and worry about double parking.

Research Insurance

It’s a great idea to do your homework and research car insurance. Get estimates before you buy your car, so you have time to compare companies, prices, and coverage.

Your premium will depend on many things like the age of your car, its value, your driving record, your credit score, and the deductible you opted for.

Also, different countries and states have different coverage requirements every car owner needs to meet. Expect your new car to have different insurance rates than your old vehicle.

Study the Owner’s Manual

Most people skip this part, but they definitely shouldn’t. Buying a car is a big decision, so you don’t want to lose money by abusing your vehicle.

Your user manual contains information on the maintenance schedule, gadget instructions, setup instructions, gas grade, dashboard lights, warranty info, how to check oil, fluids and tire pressure, and other tips and tricks.

Get Ready to Commit

Be sober, calm, and stable when making your purchase. It’s okay to impulse-buy a t-shirt or a backyard pool, but you don’t want to impulse-buy a car!

Make sure to consider the initial price of the vehicle but also keep in mind the long-term use costs. Don’t fall for things that wow you at the dealership but are essentially useless.

For example: heated cup holders, built-in navigation, and performance tires. You need to be honest with yourself and think about the future or you’ll lose money in the long run.

You’re really doing this, right? Don’t worry too much about the car buying process, but also don’t just dive into it heedlessly. Remember these tips before you sign anything and you won’t regret your purchase.

Head on over to Joyful Source to read more of Peter’s work!
Be sure to follow Peter on Twitter to keep up with his writing, as well.

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