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How to get started buying your first car

How to get started buying your first car

When you're buying your first car in Hamilton, there are a lot of options to consider.  Not only what kind of vehicle you want, but how you’ll pay for it, and from whom you’ll buy it.  Let’s look at how to get started buying your first car.


What type of vehicle do you need?


Since it’s your first car, chances are the answer is “whatever I can afford!”.  Makes sense, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look at a variety of options.  Brand new may not be an option, but you can find affordable older models of reliable cars.


Compact cars are almost always on the low end of the cost meter, simply because they’re small.  If you’re just looking for something to commute to work and get groceries, a little compact will have you zooming around no problem.


Manufacturers like Toyota are known for having long-lasting vehicles.  A model from 5 years ago could still last another 10 depending on your driving habits.


If you need something that retails high when it’s brand new, like a pick-up, searching for a used one is your best bet.


How will you pay for it?


Basically everyone in Hamilton that buys a car has to finance it.  If you have money saved, use some for a down payment.  The larger the down payment, the lower your monthly payments will be.  Don’t spend all of your savings on the down payment though.  While investing in a car makes sense, they don’t ever increase in value.  Put some of that savings into an investment where it can earn interest for you.


Now, where you get financing depends on how good your credit is.  If you have a high credit score (over 725 is very good in Canada), you should be able to get a loan from a bank no problem.  People with high credit scores generally qualify for the lowest interest rates.


If you don’t fall into that category, you can still get a loan, just probably not from your bank.  Specialty lenders help people with low or no credit get loans for vehicles.  These come with the caveat of higher interest rates.  Paying off one of these loans improves your credit and will help you get better rates in the future.


Always shop around for the lowest rates.  Don’t necessarily pick the first one you get pre-approved for.  You may have heard that applying over and over for loans will negatively impact your credit score.  That’s not untrue, but if you apply several times in a short time, it’s generally noted that you’re simply shopping around and shouldn’t result in multiple dings to your score.


Who are you going to buy from?


You can always find used cars for sale on Facebook or Kijiji.  It’s up to you to decide if you trust people enough to shop for something as important as a car on a social media site.


The great thing about the internet is that you can still look for a car online, but from reputable dealerships.  Inventory is updated constantly, there are always lots of pictures, and all the details you need are right there at your fingertips.


Local dealerships have the benefit of being in the community, helping people get into the right cars.  You can start your search online and when you’ve narrowed it down, head over to the lot and see the cars in person.  The best way to know if the car is right for you is to actually get into it.


When you're buying your first car with Car Nation Canada, you get the simplicity of shopping online with the added bonus of a local dealer happy to help.  With financing available for people from any circumstance, it’s a great place to buy your first car.


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