8 Tips For The First Time Car Buyer

January 23, 2020

There’s never been a more advantageous time than right now to be a first-time car buyer. Online shopping isn’t just an alternative to your local car dealer anymore; it’s undoubtedly your best option as a first-time car purchaser. The wealth of resources at your fingertips on any connected device has changed the game for car buyers. The world’s gotten smaller and that means you’re not stuck with local car options when your dream car is across the country (or across the world, for that matter.)

It’s an admittedly scary task which first time car buyers are faced with; it’s a major investment which can turn into a major financial and lifestyle headache if you purchase the wrong vehicle. Especially if you’re not the most versed in the ins and outs of car buying, you’re likely to find yourself with furrowed eyebrows trying to figure out your best course as a rookie car buyer.

We’re here to help.

Rather than leaving you to battle stress for the sake of stress, we’ve decided to make things as easy as possible for you with our definitive list of 8 Tips For The First Time Car Buyer. With the right information in hand, you’ll have your dream car delivered to your door before you know it!

 1) Keep Your Options Wide Open With The Right Auto Transport Service

 Why limit yourself to the cars you can physically reach when you can use the power of the Internet and a top auto transport service to your advantage? While it’s not impossible to find a good first car option somewhere around your neighborhood, the perfect car option for you might be somewhere on a different coast just waiting for you to find it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a cute little sports car or an SUV which balances solid gas mileage and durability; the more options you have, the better chance you’ll have of hitting the jackpot as a first-time car buyer.

In case you find a car which fits you and it’s not within a workable radius for you to pick it up, get ahead of the curve and contact a top-rated auto transport service like Nexus Auto Transport right away to get a range of quotes. You’ll be surprised at how cost efficient such an option can be and you won’t have to put extra miles on your car to drive it home or pay the gas/airfare costs which can really add up.

 2) Research What You Like And What You Didn’t Know You Liked

 There is an absolute wealth of online resources for first time car purchasers to compare different vehicles, browse user ratings, and get you ready for your car buying leap when the timing is right. Here’s a list of the sites you should bookmark right away to begin your first foray into the car buying world:

  • Kelley Blue Book: The perfect website for value assessments so you can make sure you’re paying a fair price for your vehicle. There’s a ton of automobile reviews to browse through and an option to compare a wide variety of new vehicles in the marketplace.
  • Edmunds: Nobody does in-depth vehicle reviews better than the folks over at Edmunds, including comprehensive data points, from test drive results, to cost estimates five years after initial purchase. These reviews will help you narrow down your search and get your budget lined up with their help.
  • NADA Guides: NADA offers everything from vehicle value assessments to a treasure trove of both expert car reviews and consumer reviews. If you’re on the fence between two different vehicles, there’s also a side-by-side comparison tool.


These websites are invaluable tools which will do a lot of the comparison and troubleshooting legwork for you! Once you’ve got the right vehicle lined up, be sure to run a CARFAX report on it if it’s a used vehicle to ensure you’ve got an accurate picture of its accident history and potential problems the dealer may be glossing over.

 3) Set A Comfortable Initial Budget And Monthly Budget

 Proper budget management is essential for the first-time car buyer. If you overreach and pay way too much out of the gate, you could leave yourself hamstrung and fighting to make your monthly car and insurance payments.

Remember this rule of thumb if you’re financing your new car; you’re likely to spend in the neighborhood of $25/month for every $1,000 you finance for 48 months and $20/month for a 60-month plan.

You’ll also want to get some insurance quotes out of the gate to get a ballpark estimate of your monthly rate. Add in your likely fuel costs based on your area’s current average fuel prices and another $50-$100 a month to factor in the potential for inevitable maintenance concerns.

Put all of this information together and compare it to the monthly expenditure you’re comfortable making. This will help you decide what price range is best for you to get the right car without putting yourself in financial jeopardy for the months to come.

In addition, be sure you have enough money saved out of the gate to cover the initial down payment and the cost of transporting your car from its buyer locale. Don’t put yourself behind the eight ball and max out a credit card because you haven’t planned things out.

 4) Figure Out Your Financing Options And Choose The Best One

 If you purchase your car from a dealer and go the dealer financing route, you’re often going to be in a lot worse shape than if you secure outside financing. This is especially true if you’ve got a limited credit history or a credit history with marks of delinquency still on it.

Dealers will use this and a perceived lack of options (on your part) to lock you into a 48-month or 60-month plan which will cost you an arm and a leg.

Contact your bank or credit union and ask them about financing options for the ballpark amount you’re looking to finance. Look into online financing options with great ratings to their credit such as MyAutoLoan and Open Road Lending.

Expand and maximize your financing options to ensure you lock in the best monthly payment possible as a first-time car buyer. Even $10 saved per month is $120 a year you can put towards other unexpected car costs.

5) Expand Your Search, Never Settle For The First Fit

 It’s understandable to get excited when your first-time car buying experience leads you to a potential match. However, you wouldn’t marry the first person who seems sweet enough, so why invest so much money on the first car which seems like a fit?

There are way too many car sites out there with way too many cars, trucks, vans, SUVs and other vehicle options for you to peruse. Settling on the first car you think could work is just that – it’s settling.

With the comfort of knowing that you can have a car delivered to your house or neighborhood from virtually anywhere with the help of a great auto transport service, it simply doesn’t make sense to jump on the first vehicle which seems right.

Look for more worthwhile options on great sites like AutoTrader and use some of the aforementioned comparison sites if another good first car option pops up. The more options you have for your first car purchase, the better chance you’re going to land the car of your dreams.

 6) Test Drive Similar Vehicles At A Nearby Dealer

 While online shopping can give you all of the resources and targeted research you need to make an informed decision as a rookie car buyer, there’s no substitute for the feeling of getting behind the wheel.

You may not find an exact match for your online purchase at a local dealer, but there’s a good chance you can find something very close to test drive. When they put the hard sell on you after your test drive, just smile and decline.

Remember, you’ve got the power of the Internet at your disposal and you’re going to have your dream car delivered to you at a better price than you will likely get at your local dealer.

 7) Sticker Price? You’re Better Than That

 Once you’ve got your budget figured out from an overall expenditure standpoint, don’t go into your negotiations with a car dealer with that exact number in mind. If you have $30,000 to play with and the car you’re looking at is in that price tag neighborhood, it’s time to use the power of persuasion to save yourself some money.

Don’t come into negotiations with a “per-month” price figure in mind. If you have that aforementioned $30,000 to work with, start by telling the dealer that you have about $22,000 to $25,000 worth of financing and funds which you’re willing to feasibly spend.

You may have to haggle a bit and accept some sort of pricing compromise, but you’re also unlikely to tap yourself out and end up paying 100% of your budget for a car you could potentially land for 80% to 90% of that number.

There are some online dealers or private sellers who may not be willing to play ball. That’s okay! Remember you have options. Unless the car in question is your absolute vehicular kindred spirit, you’re likely to find a similar fit (or even the same one) with a seller who’ll actually work with you on your terms.

 8) Use Your Sticker Savings And Get Your Dream Car Delivered

 Whether you’re looking at a normal open car transport or an enclosed car transport for a special vehicle purchase, contact Nexus Auto Transport as soon as you’ve finalized your purchase. The more time that you give them to get your car delivered and the less of a rush you’re in, the better flat rate you’re going to pay to have your car delivered!

Why spend valuable time and money flying to your new car before putting unnecessary mileage and wear on it to drive it home? You can save yourself the scheduling nightmare and the travel costs while putting your first big car purchase in the hands of an experienced top-quality auto transport service.

Nexus Auto Transport will get your car delivered where you need it, when you need it for an extremely fair price. It’s the ultimate life hack for first time car buyers who want a world’s worth of first car options to choose from!

 Closing Thoughts

 It doesn’t have to be stressful to be a first-time car buyer. In fact, it should be an exhilarating process on which you’ll look back on with a big smile! Your new car is going to pay for itself multiple times over with everything from Instagram-worthy road trips to helping satisfy midnight cravings for a fast food snack.

Armed with the right information and the right attitude, you can maximize the value of your first vehicle purchase without settling for what’s nearby at a local car lot. Find the car which fits you, contact Nexus Auto Transport ASAP to set up your home or nearby delivery, and you’ll be behind the wheel of your perfect car with no hassle to speak of!

A first-time car buyer can become a second time car buyer really quickly if they end up with the wrong car at the wrong price. Don’t let your first vehicle purchase turn into a cautionary tale. Keep our 8 Tips For The First Time Car Buyer in mind and you’ll turn your first car buying experience into your best car buying experience!