Buying Your First Car? Here Are The Most Important Steps

fordSo, you're looking to buy your first car. Congratulations! We know exactly how exciting it is to finally get yourself out on the road and drive your very own car. Like buying your first house, purchasing your first car is a rite of passage in American culture. Despite this, most people are never taught how to actually purchase a car for the first time. As a result, many people step onto the dealership lot completely unprepared for the car buying process.

While a great Ford dealer will help walk you through this process, there are some basic steps that everyone should follow. Simply understanding this process ahead of time will make everything a whole lot easier. Let's take a look at the three most important steps that every new car buyer should follow.

Know How Much You Want to Spend Monthly
As a first-time car buyer, it's important to know that you're going to have to spend some money every month if you don't fully purchase the car from the get-go. Since most of us don't have $30,000 in cash tucked away under the mattress, you're going to have to do some math. Before heading to a dealer, take a moment to look at your finances.

Here's where most first-time car buyers go wrong: before you determine how much you can afford to spend each month, you first need to calculate additional expenses that go along with owning a car. Plan out how much you will need for gas, auto insurance, and other car maintenance issues you might stumble upon. Based on those numbers you'll be able to figure out how much you can actually afford to spend each month on car payments. Of course, just because you can afford to spend a certain amount, that doesn't mean you have to spend that much. Once you've decided what you think you'll realistically be able to afford each month, only then can you visit Ford dealers with a realistic budget in mind. 

Find a Trustworthy Local Car Dealer
Because you've never gone car shopping before, you might not know where to look. Unfortunately, not all car dealerships are created equal. Ask around and see if any of your friends have had positive experiences with one local car dealership over another. About 43% of customers agree that the dealership is a place to learn, so finding a location that will allow you to ask questions is always key.

Before you start your search for a great local dealership, first decide which type of car or truck you want to buy. For example, say you want to buy a Ford truck. Your best shot is going directly to a Ford dealer. They will specifically help you find the perfect Ford that best fits your lifestyle, and they will also have the largest selection for you to choose from.

Take a Test Drive of a Few Vehicles

Much like looking for a house, it's important to look at a few different options before closing. Just as importantly, you need to get a feel for the specific vehicles in question. That means actually getting inside the vehicles and taking them for a test drive. Only after you've completed this crucial step can you know for certain that you've chosen the right vehicle for your needs.

It's understandable that going to car dealerships for your first new vehicle can feel overwhelming. However, if you follow the simple steps outlined above you are much more likely to have a positive first experience.
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