Are you thinking about buying a car? Is that old piece of junk on your driveway finally giving out? Well you came to the right place for some practical tips on buying a new ride. The following are tips that I’ve researched, used, and shared with others. Buying a car is the second most important purchase in your 20s, next to a home.

Let’s get ready to buy that car…

What should you think about before going shopping for a car?

Just like with any purchase, there are a few things that you need to check out before you buy a car. What are these variables?

  1. How much money do you have saved? This is important because cars are like homes. Prices vary. There are different types of cars for different budgets. You need to be realistic with how much money you have saved.
  2. Your credit history. How’s your credit? This will determine what sort of car you can attempt to finance. You should look into this first. You don’t want to feel shame while running your credit check at a dealership.
  3. The amount of money that you’re willing to spend on a car. How much do you REALLY want to spend on a car? I personally don’t see myself blowing a small fortune on a car. Others don’t care. I’ve seen friends spend a fortune on a car because they’re just so passionate about what they drive. I don’t care.
  4. New vs used. This is arguably the most important decision that needs to be made. Will you buy new or used? Everyone has their own preference. We all have a crazy relative or older buddy that buys used and spends their weekends on the driveway fixing the car. That’s personally not for me. I would rather pay the extra money.

Speaking of new vs used, let’s look at what’s involved in both of these purchases.

What should you find out about if you plan on buying a used car?

  • The number of previous owners. Who had their hands on this car before you got to it?
  • If the car was ever involved in an accident or how many accidents? You don’t want to be stuck with a car that has been in a half-dozen accidents.
  • Previous mechanical issues. Any issues that you should know about? You don’t want to find out with your wallet.
  • Maintenance history of the car. Has this car been maintained properly?

You don’t want to be stuck with a lemon. Now how about the flip side?

What about a new car?

I actually recommend buying a new car and keeping it as long as possible. My logic here is that you simply save money on stress and maintenance. You don’t have to worry about your car breaking down on you on a long drive or about maintenance that needs to be done to get the car running. There’s nothing wrong with buying a new car. Don’t let the pundits convince you otherwise.

You can check out the Canada Auto Show to see what kind of cars are out there.

Any other helpful hints for buying a car?

I performed some research on this to bring you to best possible tips for when you’re at the dealership. They are as follows:

  • Prices can be negotiated.
  • The best times to buy are the last two weeks of December and July to October.
  • The dealership needs your permission to run your credit check.
  • Know the prices of the competitors. Don’t be fooled.
  • Don’t get ripped off on the trade-in car. Try to sell it independently first.

That’s what you need to think about before you buy a car. Please take this decision seriously. You don’t want to be stuck with a car that you hate — or even worse, a car that you can’t afford.