Monday, August 16th, 2021

9 Steps To Buying Your First Car

9 Steps To Buying Your FirstCar

 

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

There are many, many pitfalls when buying a new car. If you are a first-time car 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!

 

Jump To:

 

1. Determine If You Really Need a Car

You may not have expected this, but it’s important to make a realistic assessment of your actual transportation needs. Most college towns already have a great public transportation system in place, which can save you a lot on personal auto costs. If you have a generous car-owning friend you’ll be riding into town with each weekend, it may not be worthwhile for you to have your own set of wheels. Also, if your campus has everything you need within walking distance, it may be cheaper to rent a car when you actually need one instead of owning one.

 

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

Creating a list may seem obvious but you shouldn’t go out to any car dealership and start shopping.

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

 

4. Obtain Financing

If you’ve been saving up for your first car, you’re a smart cookie! 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.

 

5. Research Your Options

You want 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.  Create another list of your top three choices of car makes and models.

 

6.  Look Up Listings

Start searching for specific listings of your desired vehicles online and around your neighborhood. Once you’ve found several potential cars, research their histories on Carfax.com and then contact the seller to set up a test drive.

 

7.  Take It For a Test 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 buying. Be sure to contact a reliable, local mechanic to thoroughly inspect the car and make sure it’s in working condition and safe to drive.

 

9. Make It Official

If your car 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
Email: insurance@agcu.org
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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