Beginners Guide To Purchasing Your First Car

Beginners Guide To Purchasing Your First Car

Updated on June 23 2024

By: Melvin Magadia, for Automart.PH

Buying your first car is a major life decision. It takes a lot of research and preparation. You don’t just step into the dealership and buy the first Toyota or Mitsubishi car that you see. Your excitement may get the best of you that you will buy your first car without researching the car.

Here at Automart.PH, we want to ensure that your first car purchases will be worthwhile. Purchasing a car is a huge investment, so you should value every peso you will spend on that purchase. Here is our guide on buying your first car.

1. Do Your Research

As mentioned, it is normal for you to get excited when buying your first car. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.  There are many options out there that will surely fit your taste and lifestyle. Give yourself enough time to find the best car to avoid having regrets about your purchase in the future.

2. Know What Car You Want To Buy

Before proceeding to the dealership, ask yourself, “Why you want to buy a car?” Are you going to use it for traveling from your house to your office? Will you use it as a family car? By answering these questions, you can come up with a shortlist of the potential cars to buy.  

3. Estimate Your Budget

Once you have decided on the brand or model of the car to buy, the next step is to set a budget. Look for a car that you can really afford. In setting your budget, you should also factor in other car-related expenses, such as car insurance, downpayment, and others. A budget is important if you plan to purchase a car through a loan. You don’t want to fall into debt because you bought a car that is too expensive.

4. Check If You Qualify For A Loan

Check with the dealership or your bank if you qualify for a car loan.  If you plan to take this route, research how to apply for a car loan. Make a self-assessment of yourself if you have what it takes to take out a car loan. Check out our article on why you can get rejected for a car loan. Dealerships may offer an option for a car loan through bank financing. The difference here is that with the dealership, you may pay a lower downpayment but higher interest rates, while banks offer higher downpayments but lower interest rates. Consider your options very well.

5. Consider A Used Car

If you have a tight budget but still want to buy your first car, there is an option to purchase a used car. It may not be the dream car you have longed for but it’s the next best thing to owning a car. Dealerships like Automart.PH offers financing schemes to buyers to make it easy for them to pay for their desired car.

Better yet, you can get a certified used car from a dealership like Automart.PH. You get a used car with the perks of a brand-new car. This will give you peace of mind that the car you are buying is in tip-top condition when you buy it.

6. Take It Out For A Spin  

When buying your first car, research isn’t enough, regardless if it’s a new or used car. You have to test the unit yourself to get a feel for the ride. The car you have in mind may have the best features but you still need to experience its handling.

If you are buying from a car dealer, you can drop by their shop anytime. However, if you are buying from a private seller, it is highly recommended that you call them and set an appointment. You can not just drop by the way you would with a dealership.

You can ask them things like mileage, last maintenance, recent crashes, or if there is something that needs to be fixed. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or raise concerns, after all if it is not the car you are looking for, you will not be wasting the seller’s time anymore.

7.  Negotiate The Price

Whether it’s from a car dealer or a private individual, you need to learn the art of negotiation. Used cars are more flexible as the cost will not be tied to the production cost. When negotiating, make sure to do some research of the selling price of the car you are buying. You can tell the dealer or private seller that you have been looking around and have options.

If you would like to bring up some concerns or problems that you noticed during the test drive, do raise them during the negotiation process. Start with the lowest price you can afford and not the other way around. This way, you can make concessions with the seller and still get a reasonable price. Be ready to walk away if you don’t think you are getting a good deal.

8.  Time For The Paperwork

Once you have agreed on the price and the available options, it is time to process the documents. At this point, you may already be exhausted and tempted to sign the dotted line immediately.  Don’t do it. Do review the entire contract with the dealer.

Yes, you already have the keys to your car, but you are not the official owner of the car yet.

Confirm with the seller whether they will process the transfer of ownership and the registration for you. The process would be a bit more complicated if you bought a used car. But you don’t have to go through the process alone. Some dealers have partner agencies who will take care of that for you. Automart.PH partners with Assurance.PH in the transfer of ownership.

Buying a new car is a major decision you have to make. Whether buying a new or used vehicle, you must think long and hard because you are investing your hard-earned money in it.