So you’ve passed the driving test and are planning to buy a car for the first time? Well, that’s a great step right there. Buying a first car is an incredibly exciting experience, knowing that you’ll no longer have to borrow your parent’s car every now and then for your traveling adventures. Owning a car generally comes with lots of advantages.

However, you no matter how excited you are to hit the road with a new ride, you should know that buying a new car is not a walk in the park. It requires a lot of planning and learning about the basics. You can’t just walk into a dealer’s without understanding the basics of buying a first-time car. Lucky for you, this article provides you with some few useful tips on how to buy your first car.

• Establish a Realistic Budget

Due to the overwhelming excitement, it’s possible to forget all the costs involved in maintaining a car, besides the initial buying cost. You need to know how much you’ll need on a monthly basis; and this includes factoring in the maintenance, gas, insurance, as well as repair costs.

• Know your Credit Score

If you intend to obtain a car loan to buy a car, then it’s important to know your credit score beforehand. This is because your credit score will help determine the interest rate you’ll pay on the car loan. You can obtain your credit score report from the big reporting agencies.

• Obtain Auto Insurance

Obtaining auto insurance is the second most important consideration after establishing a budget. Auto insurance is very important as it protects you against incurring huge replacement or repair cost in the event of an accident. Most states also require all vehicles to have insurance. So, by obtaining insurance, you’ll be enforcing the road rules and regulations.

You should know that auto insurance is usually very expensive for new drivers. It’s therefore advisable to get a few quotes, probably 3 or 4 from different insurance companies before buying the car. Also, you can consider the possibility of being added to the policy of a current driver in your home- like your spouse or parents. At least, you’ll be sure to get reduced rates on the policy.

You can find insurance agents near you buy checking out the best insurance agency directory.

• Decide if you want to buy a New or Used Car

Do you want a new or used car? Well, this is a decision you have to make. Of course, this will certainly depend on your budget. Used cars are a lot cheaper compared to new cars. Your taste and style will also play a role in your decision. One way to get a convertible is to visit the used car dealers.

• Locate a Reputable Dealer

Many car dealers will use the sweetest words to lure you into buying their cars. Sadly, not all are genuine. It’s easy to be duped especially when purchasing your first car. It this case, you need to ensure that the car dealer is reputable and trustworthy. Your parents, friends, or colleagues can give you some useful recommendations.

• Take the Car for a Test Drive

Of course, you would never buy a suit or shoes without first try them on, right? It’s the same with a car. Once you’ve identified a few desirable cars, take them for a test drive to see how they perform on the road.

• Close the Deal

You’ve identified the perfect car and you have the cash ready, now all that’s left is to close the deal. Be sure to check for warranty and understand any terms of financing before signing the documents.

Buying your first car should be hassle-free as long as you follow these tips. Hopefully, you’ll buy a car that will serve you for years without any hassles.