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Saturday, December 12, 2009

First Time Car Buying

By Brenda Williams

Buying a car for the first time can be extremely exciting. It can also be an incredible drag if you're not especially careful. For instance, I am still paying (no pun intended) for the decision I made to purchase the particular vehicle that I did a few years ago. As a result, I am going to be stuck making the same high car payment for the next several years all the while thinking of how if I had only researched the car buying process a little more and known what I know now back then, then I wouldn't be in the situation that I'm in.

One word of advice for those of you who are interested in or are thinking of purchasing your very first car is to make sure you phone a friend, family member or simply get someone who knows what they're talking about when it comes to purchasing a car. After you have found this person, drag them with you to the dealership after hours and then during hours. I suggest going to a dealership after hours initially because it will give you a break from the incessantly nagging and overly-helpful car dealership sales people who are dying of hunger for a sale and who are desperate to just eat you up!

When I received my first car, my father was in the car business and knew exactly what questions to ask. In fact, I just went to the dealership and told him which car I liked. Then, a few weeks later, it was purchased with all of the specifications that I had wanted. If only there was someone like that in my life now! Most people dread going to car dealerships because a) it usually means a lot of walking and b) it means that you have to deal with overbearing salespeople c)it is often tempting to see another vehicle that you like that is way out of your budget but which you still ogle at just the same.

There are many things to distract you at a dealership, and the last thing that you want to "deal" with are distractions because it forces you to take the eye off of the prize: buying the right kind of car for you. If you are a newbie, you may actually want to bring two people with you (I.e. Mommy and Daddy). I have joked around with my boyfriend that the next time I go to a dealership, I am going to have to bring a team of people who can just form a circle around me so that they can act as a buffer between the salespeople and me. If you are purchasing a car from a private seller, there are separate rules that go along with this as well. For example, you may want to chat with them in the company of a third person as well as read up on the types of questions that you should be asking as well as what to bring with you.

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