So, you’re getting ready to purchase a used car. The only problem? You’ve never purchased a car before and are a bit overwhelmed by the entire process.

We’ll be honest, buying a used car is a pretty big deal. And it’s something you should take very seriously. Failure to do so can put you in a bad situation, which isn’t what you want. 

So what are some basic tips and tricks I need to know when buying my first used car? And how can I make sure I protect myself, my funds, and make the best purchase possible? We’ve got the answers to those questions, and more, in this article!

Determine Your Budget

Before you start test driving potential options, or even browsing for cars online, you first need to determine your budget. It’s a good idea to set your budget a little bit below what you can actually afford, too, that way you can avoid any financial trouble.

And once you have your budget figured out, be sure to stick to it, so you don’t get yourself in any trouble. And don’t think you can talk someone down on a price, either. If a car is listed above your budget, don’t waste time going to check it out.

Take Your Time Saving

If you’re on a tight budget, and you have the ability to do so, consider taking more time to save up more money. Saving money can be easy, but it does take time, especially if you’re saving up for something like a car.

This is a great way to make sure you don’t get yourself in financial trouble, too. And taking your time making a purchase is never a bad idea, either.

Don’t Rush Into Anything 

To piggyback off of that last point, it’s a good idea to take your time when browsing and planning for a car. Rushing into a decision on your first time buying a car can get you into a great deal of trouble, which of course, isn’t what you want to deal with.

Take your time browsing, planning, and saving. Make sure you pick the right car for you and your needs. And again, don’t go over your budget, not even by a little bit, as it’s not a good idea to do so.

Don’t Check Out a Car Alone

Once you have your budget figured out, and you start browsing online, eventually you’re going to find something you want to check out in person. And when you call the owner of the car and set up a visit, it’s a good idea to take someone with you when you go to check out the car.

Also, it’s a good idea to meet the seller at a public location, during the day, that other people are going to be at. Doing so is a great way to make everyone feel safe and comfortable, which is important when dealing with a purchase of this size.

Last but not least, don’t carry large amounts of cash with you when checking out cars in person. Only when you’ve found your car, and you’re ready to make a purchase, should you go and get your money for the purchase.

Inspect The Car Thoroughly

Of course, before you make the big purchase, you’re first going to want to inspect the car thoroughly. So if you’re not a car person, consider bringing someone who knows more about cars with you so you can get their opinion on the car.

A pro tip? Spend a great deal of time looking at both the inside and outside of the car. Also, be sure to check under the car, and under the hood, to make sure nothing looks out of place.

Take the Car for a Test Drive

The last thing you should do before deciding if a car is right for you is to take it for a test drive. Sure, that may sound obvious, but there are a few things you might not think of that are worth keeping in mind during the cruise around town.

First, try to take the car somewhere where you can test the breaks a bit. Something like a road with lots of street lights should work perfectly.

Also, don’t be afraid to venture out on the interstate for a bit. Cars do different things once you go over a certain speed limit, and you want to get a feel for how the car handles at higher speeds.

Tips for Buying My First Used Car

These tips and tricks can make your first used car buying experience a positive one. So, now you can stop asking yourself “how can I make buying my first used car experience a positive one?”

Remember, it’s important to take your time planning, browsing, and saving for your car. Rushing into something can lead to you making a car choice that you regret, which of course, isn’t what you want.

Once you find the perfect car for you, be sure to inspect it carefully before making a purchase. Take one or two test drives, including on the interstate, so you can make sure the car runs smoothly at all speeds

Last but not least, remember to stick to your budget. Going over, even by a few bucks, isn’t a smart idea.

Getting ready to buy a car? Check out our blog for more advice on how to get the most out of your new ride!