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6 Things to Research When Buying Your Very First Car

Buying your first car is a big deal. You need to ensure everything is right and according to your specifications. It is, therefore, important that you do extensive research. Here are six key aspects you should check when shopping for your very first car.

1. Safety Ratings

Safety is an important consideration. The safety ratings are found in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These rating systems look at a car’s safety features and the accident test. You should choose a car with ratings above four in the IIHS and five in the NHTSA.

2. Fuel Efficiency

With the constant fuel hikes, you should buy a car that is fuel efficient. Most cars have fuel consumption ratings on the window stickers. You can also check online for the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the market this year. To calculate your gas mileage per month, multiply the price per gallon by your estimated miles driven per month. Additionally, go for a car with low emissions to cut costs and protect your health.

3. Maintenance and Repair Costs

Look into the cost of regular maintenance, such as oil changes and tire rotations. It would be best if you also looked into the cost of any recalls that you may have missed. After understanding the costs of common components and their availability in your area, you can decide if a car is affordable. Besides that, consider the cost of insurance. In some cases, it might be cheaper to pay upfront instead of monthly. That way, you will not be forced to buy a more expensive car to keep costs low.

4. Cargo Space

You may require a car with sufficient cargo space depending on your needs. Go for a minivan or SUV if you need extra space for carrying your family and luggage. It’s also a good idea to research the features and capabilities of the cargo area, such as whether it has a split-folding rear seat or tie-down points. These features can greatly enhance the functionality of the cargo space and make the car more versatile.

5. Performance

The engine and drivability of the vehicle determine performance. You can check for engine horsepower, torque, and acceleration data by simply searching for the information online. Ensure the car you pick has the power you need to get around and maintains its performance over time. A great way to determine this is going for a test drive.

6. Your Credit Score

Your credit score determines whether you can get financing from a dealership. You should check your credit report and ensure all your debts are paid. Doing this will allow you to have a smooth financing process. Alternatively, you can use a credit union or bank to get a loan. They usually charge higher interest rates but give students and young professionals better plans.

All these factors play a crucial role in determining your perfect car. Researching and analyzing will help you make the right decision, ensuring you get the best value for your money.