Tips on Buying Your First Car

how to buy a first car, car buying

Do you remember when you went to purchase your first car?  Or maybe someone went and bought it for you.  This article is going to speak towards purchasing a used car, while maybe not new, it is new to you!  When you approach purchasing your first car think of it like a game of poker, as you enter the room keep eye contact with the seller and try to read them to get the best deal.  It is the same as being at the casino, if you can read the bluff your chances of winning increase.

When looking for a car it is important to make sure that you are keen to your senses, you will be using your eyes, ears, and sense of smell when purchasing a used car.  Never hesitate to ask question!

The casino and purchasing your first car both involve some level of risk, you never know if you are going to purchase a lemon or at the casino strike it big.  You just want to make sure that you make a decision that you are comfortable and can live with.

Assessing the car is very important, you should check the undercarriage and under the hood for any rust.  Rust if found, is like cancer it spreads very easily and needs to be contained and taken care of to avoid larger problems.

Take a look at the body for any bubbling in the paint or waves in the paint; this would suggest that there was something incorrectly repaired.  The seller may have fixed these imperfections so that they would not have hurt the value of the vehicle.

Next, look at the motor and mechanical parts under the hood of the car. The engine should be relatively clean from motor oil. If you see large buildups of oil in an area then chances are a head gasket will need to be replaces because of an oil leak.

Examine all of the electrical and rubber components to ensure that there are no cracks.  Cracks in rubber mean that the rubber is old and dried out and most likely will need to have some type of repair in the near future.

If you are purchasing the car from a seller see if they have all the receipts for any work that has been done on the vehicle.  This will give you a pretty good idea at how well the car was maintained and if there were any major repairs performed.

Another important piece of advice is to make sure to take the car for a good test drive. Do not be afraid to drive the car a little hard with the owner with you in the car, chances are they will understand, if they object then maybe there is something with the car they are trying to hide and you should move on to another car.

Some say that purchasing a used car is a gamble but with the right questions and research you can make the safest bet.  Do not get impulse to buy and you will be assured you are not taking a gamble.

I remember buying my first car, it was a 1990 Chevrolet cavalier and it was the best car I ever owned.


Photo by: BrianButko

About Christopher


  1. Wonderful article, Thanks for the valuable tips on buying first Car .

  2. My first car was a beat up old Dodge Dakota that I got when I was in high school. Great car, very durable and cheap to maintain.

  3. Good post and tips. My first car was a 1976 fire engine red Firebird. I loved that car! Some little old grandma had it and used it really to only go to church and buy groceries. It had incredibly low mileage and was very easy to maintain.

  4. My first car was a Chevy Malibu. The ceiling hung down and the thing was a gas guzzling tank. I also learned an important lesson in electricity when trying to fix the radio myself (don’t turn on the ignition when the thing isn’t grounded….just sayin’).

    All that aside, that too was my best car ever.

  5. These are some good tips. I believe they have services like carfax now that help you check the history of a used car. I have yet to use this type of service but I’m sure it’s helpful.

    A nice solid inspection by you and some friends/family is always nice too. A test drive would be key in the decision as well. You need to make sure it drives nicely without any weird noises happening when the engine is put under some pressure and work.

    My first used car was a 2000 (something) chevy S10.. it was a nice little single cab truck. then I got into a nasty accident and it was totaled. R.I.P buddy.

  6. Would also say don’t give away that you’re interested in the car. If you make it too obvious that this is the car you want then there is no reason for the dealer to cut down your price.

  7. My first car was a used Honda Civic…no power steering, windows, or locks! Worked out very well actually.

    I think that having the car checked out, and personally taking it for a test drive, are good things to do. Taking another’s word for things isn’t enough!

  8. I remember my first car, we nicknamed it “torri”. It was a Ford Taurus station wagon…..don”t be jealous!

  9. REMINDER – I think those commercials with the CARFOX were cleverly designed to get consumers thinking about the importance of checking the CARFAX. The CARFAX can tell you all of the information about history of the car so you don’t run the risk of buying a used vehicle with tons of hidden problems.

    With modern technology, newer cars have more and more gadgets within them. When you buy a used car that has many of these technology amenities, you need to make sure you ask the dealer or the prior owner about all of the accessories that may come with your automobile. If you don’t, you could run the risk of having to shell out a hundreds of dollars of additional cash to buy replacement items that should have come with your used car.

    If you don’t know what to ask, you can always take a look on the internet or ask someone you know who owns the car so you can take a look at all the gadgets that should come with the car. Make sure to take these steps so you can save some more money today

  10. Great article Christopher! Also may I add to always do background research on the car you’re going to buy so that you make sure the seller isn’t tricking you. Also, never trust everything the seller says unless you’ve proven his reputation as a legitimate seller.

  11. Despite what many people think, there are many situations where you may be able to spend less money on a new car than a barely used car. This is because of rebates, tax credits on certain cars, and more.

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