How to Buy a Car as a Teenager
March 22, 2021
Congratulations! You’ve just gotten your drivers license and now you want to make one of the biggest purchases in your life; your own car. Whether you are 16, or 45, buying a car can be a daunting task. It doesn’t need to be! In this quick guide, you’ll learn all the things that you need to do to be confident with your shiny new ride.
Step One: Set a budget
With the cheapest new cars on the market starting around $16,000, it can be overwhelming when trying to comprehend that amount of money. Luckily, most people don’t pay the full cost of their vehicle up front. With financing, a payment of $100 or $200 a month seems far more reasonable. With a realistic budget, you’ll be ensuring that you are still able to alot money toward other things in college.
Even with financing, the upfront costs can get into the thousands. Registering, titling and the down payment are paid before the car is even driven off the lot. It is also important to remember that as a teenager, securing financing yourself is very difficult. Having a parent co-sign will provide a credit history to the bank and will get you a better deal in the long run.
Step Two: Deciding what you want
Once you have a good idea of what you are able to spend, now you need to decide what you actually want to drive. Do you need an SUV to carry around friends? A sporty coupe to race around in? Or maybe a sedan for something in the middle?
Considering how far you will drive a year, what technologies your car has or how much you are willing to pay for gas are all important things to consider. Sit down and make a list of the important things that you will need your vehicle for. As an example, if getting to school or work in the most economic way possible is your top priority, then a hybrid or electric car is your best bet.
Step Three: Used or New?
There are benefits to getting a brand new car, or a car that is new to you. With a new car, you get the latest technologies, a manufacturer warranty and the most up to date safety features. That being said, a new car means a higher monthly payment, higher insurance rates and the largest amount of depreciation occurs in the three years.
When buying a used car, there are tons of advantages. Most buyers of used cars get a significant discount from the depreciation that they didn’t have to worry about, lower insurance rates and can get a higher end car without the high price. On the other hand, you might not get a warranty on the car, so you are responsible for covering the costs of repairs.
Step Four: Go and Get it!
Now that you’ve put in all the hard work of finding a budget that works for you, deciding the type of car you want and if it is new or used, all you have to do now is go and get it! Check with the dealer to see if you can negotiate the price down a little; it is important to remember that those prices are not set in stone. Take it for a test drive and get a good feel for what it is like to drive since you’re stuck with it for many years! Also, do not purchase the car on the same day that you walk into the dealership. It will minimize the buyers remorse in the long run and the dealer will be more willing to give you discounts.
Remember, purchasing a car is one of the biggest decisions that you will ever make! Do not rush the process. If you have questions about something that you are not sure about, ask! Good luck and do not get a bunch of speeding tickets!