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If you are looking to buy a car for the first time, you may feel overwhelmed by the process. This may be the first major purchase that you have made, or it may be the first time you have taken out a loan. You might not know a lot about cars, which can make you feel unprepared to make a decision. Here are a few tips to help you come to a good decision.

Consider Lease vs. Loan

If you don’t have the money to pay for a car outright, you can either get a car lease or a loan. Car leases and loans are similar in several ways. You need good credit to get the most affordable rate, but you can secure financing with bad credit. However, a leased car needs to be returned, so it may be harder to qualify for a lease. In some instances, you may qualify for a lease to own car. However, if you want a car long-term, you should probably get a loan. The monthly payments for loans vary while the rates for leases are typically fixed.

Do Your Research

You cannot expect to use only common sense when you buy a car, especially if this is your first time. Buying a car is not the same as buying a new appliance, and the risks of getting swindled are greater. Before you buy a car, do your research to figure out what kind of car you want, what features are required and which are negotiable, and what dealership you want to go to.

Consider Certified Pre-Owned Cars

Shopping for certified pre-owned cars takes most of the risk out of used car buying. CPOs are thoroughly inspected and certified for high-quality manufacturing. The cars are sold with extended warranties and roadside assistance plans. The costs are higher than those of regular used cars, but most buyers are satisfied with the high level of reliability.

Figure Out Insurance

You are legally required to have car insurance, so that’s something you need to figure out before you make a final decision on your car. This isn’t just to protect you, it is also to protect your passengers, other drivers, and your car. If this is your first car, you need to find an agency that offers insurance. If you already have car insurance, you need to talk to your agent about adding your new car to the policy. This is also a good time to get an estimate on how insurance costs for the cars you are looking for. It does you know good to find a car that you can afford if you are going to struggle to pay the insurance.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the process of buying a car, but remember that it doesn’t have to be a one-day thing. Take your time to educate yourself and do your research. There are a lot of resources out there to help you find what you are looking for.

Image Source: Findlay Automotive