Buying your first car can be an exciting venture, but it is also a serious decision. Your car is how you will get around, traveling between work and home, transporting children or pets or taking road trips. It is important that you ask all of the right questions before settling on a vehicle.
What Do You Need It For?
Knowing how you will be using a vehicle is crucial for choosing the right one. Are you traveling short distances or long? Do you need a large vehicle to transport work equipment or drive a family to school? The more you use your vehicle, the more you may want to pay attention to the gas mileage in order to save money on gas while traveling long distances. However, if you’re traveling short distances and need more space, a larger vehicle with less effective gas mileage may actually be the better option.
How Old is the Car?
If you are buying a used vehicle, you will want to know every aspect of the vehicle, including its age. Older vehicles can save you money compared to newer vehicles, but they can also present an issue when it comes to replacing certain parts or high mileage.
Buying a new car can save you trouble, but it will also generally be more expensive to purchase and to insure.
How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?
Every state has different car insurance requirements, so be sure that you get your car insurance policy from a reputable insurer that offers at the very least minimum liability requirements. However, many vehicles need higher rates than just minimum liability. If you purchase a new car, for example, the dealership will likely require you to carry full coverage as long as you have a loan on the vehicle.
A full coverage auto insurance policy should include:
- Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage provides compensation for damages to the vehicle caused by fire, wind, hail, lightning, smoke, theft, vandalism and other incidents not involving a collision.
- Collision Coverage: Collision coverage provides compensation for damages to the vehicle caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.
- Liability: Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage you may cause someone else while operating the insured vehicle.
- Medical Payments Coverage: Medical payments coverage, available as personal injury protection (PIP) in some states, covers the medical bills you and your passengers may face after an accident, no matter who is at fault.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: This insurance is required in some states and covers expenses related to an accident involving another driver who is not carrying insurance.
- Roadside Assistance: Roadside assistance helps with expenses related to trip interruptions such as running out of gas and needing to be towed.
Every car is different, so be sure to ask an insurance agent and compare quotes to find the right coverage to protect your new vehicle.
What are the Maintenance and Repair Requirements?
Some vehicles are easier to repair and maintain than others. You will want to do your research about certain parts of the vehicle and what replacement or repair entails, such as access to the car’s engine and battery. Vehicles that have a more difficult process to reach these parts can cost more to repair due to labor expenses.
Is It Work the Price?
Of course, you will want to choose a vehicle that is cost-effective upfront as well as in the long run. This means you should compare what the vehicle is selling for to its current market value, any additions, bumps or dings, the mileage and other factors to see if the vehicle is reasonably priced.
Make sure to ask about down payments and interest-free deals that the dealership may be running. If you decide to purchase a vehicle from an individual, your research is even more crucial, as you will want an in-depth history of the car to identify any previous wrecks or issues.
Who Should Be on the Policy?
When you plan on purchasing your first vehicle, you may end up adding another driver to help boost your credit or assist with the cost. You should be careful who is added to a policy, however. Adding someone with a poor driving record or low credit score can make your car insurance rates go up or make it more difficult to insure a vehicle. On the other hand, adding someone with a better driving record or higher credit score thank you have can actually save you money on car insurance.
No matter what, be sure to ask an agent about your vehicle and an insurance agent about any questions you have regarding your car insurance policy.
Also Read: Losing Everything Due to Inadequate Auto Liability Coverage
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