car buy

A Car Buying Guide for First Time Car Buyers

One of the most exciting times in a person’s life is when they go to buy their first car. Starting at age sixteen, people start looking for their first car which can be an overwhelming process. First-time car buyers need to keep a few things in mind before making a purchase. Get your smartphone or pen and paper ready and make sure you’ve checked off the following items before you commit to purchasing your first car.

Establishing a Budget

Establishing a budget for your new vehicle is the first step when buying your first car. Knowing your financial limit is crucial. If you estimate your weekly, biweekly, or monthly car payment before purchasing, you can determine whether or not a car is in your affordable price range.

Knowing this information can limit your search and narrow your options, making the car buying process easier because it eliminates the clutter. You shouldn’t waste time on options that do not coincide with your financial means. For instance, if you can afford $30,000, you should aim for a new Jeep Cherokee or shop for a certified preowned Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Knowing your monthly spending abilities, you can choose the car that best fits your needs while staying within your budget.

Identify Essential Features

Once you’ve calculated your monthly budget, you can begin to identify what you need and want in a car. For example, if you are trying to purchase your first car for around-town driving, you may not be concerned with mileage and longevity. Whereas, if you are looking to buy a vehicle that will save you on gas while commuting to work long distances, you may look at different models.

If you need additional seating because you have a large family, you may forgo the sleek, stylish, and compact models. Similarly, if you see yourself towing boats, campers, or other large items, certain vehicles may not meet the power requirements for those towing jobs. There are many things to consider when buying your first car, and your needs and wants should always be early in your search.

Other features that might catch your eye include:

  • Power seat adjustment

  • Ventilated seats

  • Touch screen infotainment systems

  • Backseat LCD screens

  • 3D parking assistance

  • Blindspot monitoring

  • Built-in dash cameras

Do Your Research

Doing your research will be the best way to ensure you are happy with your vehicle investment. Researching models and makes of various cars and comparing specs and available upgrades is one of the most crucial aspects of first-time car buying.

Locate a Dealership

Once you have done the proper research, it is time to locate a dealership. It is crucial to find a dealership that carries the type of vehicle you are interested in purchasing. You may want to try a CDJR dealer for variety. They carry Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram, which gives you a bigger range of choices in one place.

Go in with a firm budget and ensure the dealership understands your personal vehicle needs and wants. Express that you have done your research and be clear about things that matter to you when it comes to having the perfect first car. Remember that the customer is always right.

Test Drives

Never purchase a car without test driving it. Testing it out gives you a good feel of the car, the way it handles, and how powerful it is. For example, certain manual cars may not be the best fit for you, and certain automatic cars may not drive the way you thought they would. Some have features like assisted driving and reversing that you never thought you needed.

When test driving any potential vehicle, don’t forget to test the “bells and whistles” too! If a car has a sunroof, then you should test it out. Whether the vehicle is new or used, you won’t regret testing all the available mechanics, including windows and air conditioning.


Once you have conducted your research and test-driven your top choice, evaluate the purchase price and ensure you are getting every bang for your buck. Keep in mind that many dealerships offer similar vehicles, and you don’t have to jump on the first one you love.

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