October 3, 2023

If you’re scouring the market for a new car, there’s bound to be one vehicle that stands out to you the most. For people who have owned a vehicle or two before, you already know what’s in store. But if you’re a first-time car buyer, you may not be aware of the responsibilities that come with owning a car.

Here is an insider’s guide to car ownership for newcomers.

New vs. Used

The process of owning a car for new buyers always starts with determining which is the better route: a new car or one that’s used.

Here are the pros of buying a new car:

  • They come with a warranty.
  • You can customize a new car any way you see fit.
  • They come with advanced safety features.
  • They come with the most up-to-date technology.

As with most things, there are also possible cons with buying a new car:

  • You must have full insurance coverage, which costs extra money.
  • The car loses value as soon as it’s purchased, which is known as depreciation.

Buying a used car is similar to buying a new one, but there are differences including:

  • A cheaper price tag.
  • Lower insurance premiums.
  • Higher interest rates
  • Outdated technology
  • The lack of warranties

Remember that there is no right or wrong. What you ultimately buy is completely up to you. 

Understand How Car Loans Work

There are a multitude of ways to finance a new vehicle. Most people take out a loan while others are able to afford the car outright. If you’re going with a loan, there are some factors you need to be aware of. The first thing you must know is that your credit score heavily dictates the amount you are able to receive. While a perfect credit score is ideal, it’s not entirely necessary. An average credit score will more than suffice. 

However, if your credit is less than ideal, your chances of being approved may be lower. But even then, it’s still possible for you to acquire a loan through a co-signer. A co-signer is someone who takes on the responsibility of your loan, so if anything happens, your co-signer may be the one to bear the consequences.

Don’t Underestimate Maintenance

As time goes on, you may experience problems with your car. Whether the battery starts to die or your brakes start to malfunction, your car is going to need repairs. The cost of repairs may not seem like a lot at first, but they can accumulate quickly. This is where routine car maintenance comes in handy. Keeping your car in good shape is how you prolong the lifespan of your vehicle. If the mechanics find anything wrong, you can have it repaired immediately.

Owning a car for the first time is one of life’s milestones. However, it’s an investment and must be handled responsibly. This advice is to help prepare you for what’s to come when you make your purchase.