Monday, August 16th, 2021

9 Steps To Buying Your First Car

Congrats—you’re ready to purchase your first real car!

9 Steps To Buying Your FirstCar

There are many, many pitfalls when buying a new car, and if you are a first-time buyer, it can be daunting when you don’t know what to expect, so let AGCU walk you through the process. Follow our guidelines for a stress-free ride!

1. Determine if you really need a car

OK, you weren’t expecting this, but it’s important to take a step back to review your actual transportation needs. Lots of college towns have a great bus system in place, which can save you loads on car costs. If you have a car-owning good friend you’ll be riding into town with each weekend, it may not pay for you to have your own set of wheels. Also, if your campus has everything you need within walking distance, it can be cheaper to rent a car when you need it instead of buying one now.


2. Know your budget

If you’ve determined that a car purchase is necessary at this point in your life, don’t start hunting for your dream car until you’ve worked out a realistic budget. Take a hard look at your other monthly expenses to see how much you can spare for a new set of wheels. Don’t forget to include some cash for auto insurance, gas, and maintenance.



3. Create a tentative wish list

This step may seem obvious but you shouldn’t just go out to used car dealerships and start the shopping process.

This is your first car, so it doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles it does in your dreams. Sit down and make a list of all the “must haves” and “wants” you’re looking for in a vehicle. Determine how much each feature would cost you in a car and decide which are really important.


4. Obtain financing

Mystery Savings - Save up to 2% on your Auto LoanIf you’ve been saving up cash for your first car all through high school, you’re a smart student! If you don’t quite have all the money you need to buy your car, you can take out an auto loan. Check out AGCU to learn about your auto loan options and find out how much we can pre-approve you for.  This will help in your car selection and shopping process.

Do you have questions about our vehicle loans? Want to know about the application process? Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment with a loan officer.

Curious about our rates?  View current loan rates here.

If you’re ready to apply, start your application now.

No refinancing on existing AGCU loans. Subject to credit approval.

5. Research your options

You’re ready to start looking for a vehicle that will satisfy your needs and wants. You can research new and used car values and obtain vehicle ratings on sites like Kelley Blue Book and create another list that contains your top three choices of car makes and models.


6.    Look up listings

Start scavenging for listings of your car choices online and in your neighborhood. Once you’ve found several that might work, research their histories on and then contact the seller to set up a test drive.


7.    Take it for a spin

If a car checks out and everything looks good, you might want to take it for a test drive. Pay attention to details like legroom, acceleration, brake functionality, and more while you drive.


8. Have it inspected

If you’re purchasing a used vehicle, it’s best to have it inspected by a mechanic before signing on the deal. Be sure to contact a local mechanic to ensure they are able to inspect the car in a safe manner during the pandemic.


9. Make it official

If your car has passed the test drive and inspection, you’re ready to make it official! Be sure to read all documents before signing and obtain insurance before your first joyride.

Interested in an AGCU Insurance Quote?
Save Time And Money on Insurance AGCU Insurance

If you live in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma or Texas, you can contact Sherrie and Dee today to obtain a quote!
Phone: 866-508-2428 or 417-447-9356
If you live outside of those five states, visit the AGCU Insurance website or call 866-397-4086 for more information.

Enjoy your new set of wheels and drive safely!

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