Do you remember buying your first car? I do. It was the summer of 2000 and I was 19 years old. My mom and I were out shopping one day and decided to stop at a car lot. We honestly stopped in just to look around. While we were walking the lot, we found a 1996 Mercury Mystique. It was a
We saw the price, went in to talk to a sales rep and took it for a drive. It drove nice, the price was right (although the interest rate was ridiculous - but I was 19 and didn't realize it at the time) and I signed the papers that day. It was such a spur of the moment decision, and I did no research. I was SO SO excited when I picked up my car a few days later. It was really good to me, no major problems, I kept it for 4 years and then traded it in for a 2004 Toyota Corolla - brand new!
That was another amazing feeling. Driving a brand new car off the lot. It was my baby - I loved that car....and again, I was lucky and had no issues with it at all. When I bought my Corolla I had been looking around for awhile. I knew that it had a good safety record, and Toyota's are known for holding their value and being good resales. Toyota's always get great auto reviews and I had zero regrets with my Corolla. When I bought the Corolla we didn't have children. While there is nothing wrong with the Corolla as a family vehicle, it was just slightly smaller than what we wanted.
When I was pregnant with Mr. K, we decided that we wanted something a little larger that could fit the stroller in the trunk, with room left over for groceries or other items. The back seat is slightly larger, so having the extra room for a forward facing carseat as well as an infant bucket seat, diaper bag and often times an adult in the middle. We ended up buying a Jeep; Hubby always worried about me driving in the winter, and by getting a 4 wheel drive vehicle it made him feel a little more secure when I was on the road with the kids.
I laugh when I think about my 19 year old self buying a car - no negotiating, nothing. I just walked in, found out what the monthly payments would be and signed on the line....I was smarter by the time I bought the Corolla, I made sure it was a decent interest rate and that I was getting a great deal. When I bought my Jeep, well, I walked away because they would not give me what I wanted....the phone rang a few hours later asking me to come back.
The next time you go to buy a vehicle, make sure you are looking at the purchase cost and interest rate. Dealers can play with financing times (48 months, 60 months or 72 months) and give you a really low monthly figure - but when you factor in the interest and add up the entire term, you are paying much more than you need to be. Don't fall for their sales tactics - the vehicle you are looking at will most likely still be there in a few days, and if by chance it isn't, then it wasn't meant to be and something better will be waiting for you.
What was your first car buying experience like?