The prospect of buying a car is exciting. Cars are a natural extension of yourself, so it’s fun to shop around and find one that best suits your style and personality. However, this enjoyable activity can easily turn sour if you’re unprepared and ill-informed, as it’s not too difficult to end up driving away with a dud. If you’re not careful and let the excitement take over you, it’s very likely you can end up with a gas-guzzling, hard to drive, and unreliable amalgamation of nuts and bolts.

When buying a car, especially for the first time, there are plenty of important things you need to consider before finalizing the purchase. Think of these tips as a checklist as going through them will make it clear if that shiny new car is actually right for you.

Check your credit score

Knowing your credit score before browsing for cars can help you a lot and save you a lot of time, as it will inform you of what cars you can go for and what you can’t. A bad credit score will make it harder for you to get a loan or finance plan for your new car, and if this is the case, it may be worth putting measures in place to try and improve it.

On the other hand, having a good credit score and knowing about it can be a good negotiation tool.It proves you’re more trustworthy with your finances and could help you save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, due to having a lower interest rate.

Test drive the car

It can be tempting to rush into a purchase for a car that you’re adamant you love, but it’s important to know that looks can be deceiving and just because it seems nice on the outside and the interior is comfortable, doesn’t mean it’s going to drive well. To avoid any nasty surprises like squeaks, rattles, or other potential faults, or just in case the car doesn’t feel right to your preferences, it’s a good idea to go for a test drive. This will allow you to get first-hand experience and insight into how the car performs on the road. Never buy a car before doing this.

Respected dealerships such as this Alfa Romeo dealer would always be open to a test drive, and if you happen to stumble upon any dealership that doesn’t give you this option, then it should send immediate red flags, as it could suggest that they’re hiding something.

Investigate the car’s history

If you’re keen on a car, it’s good to research its history, especially if it’s a used car. This is because although the car may sit on a respected dealership, it doesn’t mean it’s issue free. Learning how many miles it’s done and how many previous owners it has had is a good way to learn if it’s been reliable or if it’s been overused. Having multiple owners over a short period of time suggests that there may be something wrong with it.

It’s also a good idea to seek out repair records of the car so that you can get an idea of if it’s had any previous issues, or reoccurring issues, as this could be a great way to determine if these issues might pop up again under your ownership.

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