In the modern world, the car is more of a necessity than a luxury. Purchasing a car is one of the first serious steps towards independence a student can do. And this step should be taken with caution and in an adult manner. Let’s see how you can buy your first car while being a student – and how these principles may apply to any other major decision in your life.
Define the purpose
The very first thing you need to decide is the purpose of buying a car. Remember that there are no right or wrong, good or bad reasons. Riding to your university is as great a reason as showing off, the ability to reach some places you can’t without owning a vehicle, or having a bit of your own private space. The purpose is needed to choose the type of the car. Do you need an off-road vehicle to go somewhere for vacations and holidays and are ready to go along with the clumsy look and petrol costs? Or perhaps you need a slender sports car (sorta) to ride your city streets and impress people around you? Maybe you are starting a business and need a spacious vehicle to deliver your homemade cookies or pizza? Also, you should try to find out as much information about cars as possible. You can use different sources to have a better understanding, from https://studymoose.com/cars to forums with advice from experienced drivers.
You don’t have to limit yourself with one and only goal. Combine them as you want, but you should still choose your first priority. Gathering too many functions in one car will lead to increasing the price dramatically, while you still have to fit into the budget. So, make a list with your primary need first.
You may also add the traits that you definitely don’t want to see in your car. They can be both subjective (i.e., wrong color) and objective (leaking oil system or broken lights because for whatever reason that’s what you don’t want to fix). Write them down on a separate sheet of paper and put this other sheet aside, it will come in handy after you filter your candidate cars with your first checklist.
Plan your budget
Here comes the hard part. Sometimes we have some money already, sometimes we have only a part of the sum needed, and sometimes we have to start from zero dollars, saving a small amount monthly. Budget planning is a tricky and highly individual process, so here are only some guidelines showing how you might organize it.
How fast do you need your car? Do you really need it that fast? Multiply the sum you are ready to give away monthly to the number of months you have. What do you get? Can you buy a decent car, or you need to think about something else: lowering your demands, asking for a credit, or finding an extra source of income? Will your quality of life change significantly after you pay for your car? It’s great to have one, but it’s also much greater to have a guaranteed amount of money to pay your rent and buy food. Will you have some extra money in case you find something that needs immediate repair? How much are you going to spend monthly on petrol or diesel and the necessary parts?
Study the market
Now it’s time to have a look at actual cars. There are many different car markets: from heavily used or repaired after accidents to the shiny new vehicles, you’ll be the first one to own. Grab your checklist of dos and dont’s and start studying the market!
It’s important to remember that there is a median price for each car. The cars that cost much lower than that price might have some hidden issues. Don’t believe the “I just need the money fast” claims. People who need the money fast sell their car to professional car traders.
If you have doubts, it’s better to ask an independent car repair service to have a look. It may cost you extra money, but it also may save you an even bigger sum later, if something wrong will be found. Don’t be shy to ask: the serious sellers will understand you completely and appreciate the careful approach.
Buying a first car is always an adventure. Take it seriously, but not overthink it too much. It’s just a car, after all, the vehicle that should make your life better and more comfortable!
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