Being a first time car buyer is an exciting experience whether you are 16, 23, or 43! The good news is, there are a lot of good resources out there about how to buy your first car. The bad news is, it can be kind of difficult to take in all of this information and make a concise decision. Never fear, that’s what we are here for! We chatted with New Car Salesman Jeff Sorrels about what a first time car buyer needs to know! Jeff has been with the Fairbanks Family for 21 years so he has seen plenty of first time buyers come through our doors. Here are Jeff’s Tips for first time car buying.
Jeff’s Top 5 Tips for First Time Car Buyers:
Check your budget and then check it again.
- There is nothing more disappointing than falling in love with a car and not being able to swing the monthly payment. When you are building yourself a budget, be sure it’s a budget that you can live with. Don’t forget to budget enough for the monthly payment, gas, and insurance.
Make friends with your Insurance Agent.
- Reach out to your insurance agent before you ever step foot on a dealer’s lot. Find out exactly what kind of coverage that you currently have and ask questions about how much your monthly rate would change if you were driving a Camaro or a Silverado. It’s no secret that a two door sports car costs more to insure than a SUV. Ask your insurance agent about all of your options.
Save for a down payment.
- 10-20% of the total price of the vehicle is a ballpark amount for a down payment. Shop online to look for different models and trim levels. Aim to save 20% of the highest trim level for the model that you are interested in, you’ll be in great shape once you sit down in the finance office.
- If you don’t have a trade in, a sizable down payment is going to do several things in your favor. First, it lets the financial institutions know that you mean business and that you have thought carefully about this decision. Second, it can reduce the interest rate that financial institutions will offer you. Low interest rates are good. High interest rates are bad.
Study finance terms before you get into the Finance Office.
- If you are going to need to finance your first big purchase (most people do), it’s a good idea to learn about finance before you sit down with the Finance Manager. A lot of people feel a little overwhelmed talking about large numbers and percentages with someone they just met, and it can be a little more stressful if you aren’t familiar with the lingo. Brush up on common terms and abbreviations like interest rates, co-signers, and APR. The more information that you can arm yourself with the better. If you ever have any questions about anything being discussed in the Finance Office, please don’t hesitate to ask for further clarification!
Shop with an open mind.
- Sometimes customers walk into the dealership and they know exactly what they want. That’s great! Other times customers aren’t quite sure what they are looking for, but they know they need specific features. That’s great too! Be prepared to tell your sales team your wants and needs in a vehicle and don’t be afraid to check out something different than what you had in mind. Salesmen are trained to match your wants and needs to the vehicle that will be an appropriate fit.
There you have it, Jeff’s Top 5 Tips for First Time Buyers! Our Sales Team is always available to go over your options and answer any questions that you may have. Not ready to come to the dealership? No problem, our entire inventory can be viewed online at our website from the comfort of your own home. Happy shopping!