You’re either navigating through school or looking for work after the big graduation day. Given the fact that a vehicle is required for so much of what we do here in Jacksonville, you might feel it’s time to finally buy your own car.
There are key items to keep in mind when buying a car, and these tips will help you feel confident in your decision.
How Does Your Credit Look?
It’s important to check your credit before going in to make your purchase.
If you haven’t taken the time yet to build some credit history, work on this first. One option is to secure a low-limit credit card in order to boost or build a credit history.
If there isn’t time to build your credit ahead of time, other options may be possible. Is there someone who might help you as a co-signer, for example?
In either case, check your credit report to see where you stand and to avoid any surprises.
Determine Your Budget
How much money per month do you have available for your new car payment? Create a list of all your expenses. Include items such as entertainment, food, loan payments and living expenses.
Don’t forget about auto insurance. We're happy to step in as your Jacksonville insurance agency advocate and help you understand what you might expect to pay each month for insurance.
How Much Cash Do You Have?
There are up-front costs required when buying a car. Have you already saved up money to handle expenses like registration fees and a down payment?
Again, feel free to call us as your potential local insurance agent and ask how much you’ll likely need to put down on your insurance plan.
Buy Used or New?
Consider that a car loses value immediately upon driving it off the dealer lot. You can avoid this quick depreciation by looking at a used car. It might not feel as exciting as a new car, but you’ll be good to go if the engine runs well.
With that said, don’t be afraid to explore new car options. You might find that your local dealer has student discounts or a low interest rate that can help lower the price and the resulting monthly payments.
Don’t forget to factor in gas costs with your budgeting. One way to help save in this area is to look at buying a hybrid or some other type of fuel-efficient car.
There is a lot to think about when it comes to buying your first car. Review the above tips, stay calm and don’t make a final decision until you feel comfortable that you’re buying a quality car that you can afford.
Contact us at the Della Porta Group with any questions you may have.