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Leasing vs. Purchasing If you’re buying a car for the first time, especially if you’re a teenager, it just feels like such an accomplishment.  More often than not, a car is probably the first purchase that you would make with your own money, and it would seem like a dream come true.  But then, there are certain factors that could get in the way of fulfilling that dream.  It may turn out that you can’t afford your dream car, or some unscrupulous dealer might exploit your inexperience and rip you off with a defective model.  Also, there’s the price you pay to buy a car, and then there’s the price you pay to keep it.  You would also have to deal with other matters, such as insurance, gas prices, maintenance costs, and so on.  Suddenly, the dream turns into a nightmare.

But you need not let such problems overwhelm you if you assess things carefully.  First off, before you buy a car, you have to make sure that your budget can support it.  This doesn’t just mean determining how much you can pay for the car, but also if you can afford the costs of maintaining it.  As for the type of car, if you’re basically just buying for yourself, you can perhaps make do with a small car.  If you’re buying for a family, you may be able to find a modestly-but-adequately-sized family car at an affordable price.  There is no shame in getting a used car as your first, as long as the quality is good.  Read automotive magazines or online car sites to research important details about the vehicle of your choice.

When you go out to buy your car, it may be best to go with a franchised dealer, as they typically offer used cars of very good quality, though the prices do tend to be high.  Just make sure you approach a dealer with a good reputation, as there are some shady dealers out there that may take advantage of you.  Independent car dealers offer cars at reasonable prices, but the quality is inconsistent.

Make sure to inspect the car before you decide to buy it.  Determine if the vehicle is in good physical condition; examine the tires, safety belts, engine, gas tanks and all vital components for signs of damage.  Check the registration, vehicle identification number and license plates to verify that the car isn’t stolen.  Give the car a test drive to make sure it’s running on all cylinders.  As a first-time driver, you would be more prone to road accidents, so make certain your car is equipped with safety devices such as air bags, anti-lock brakes, active head restraints, crumble zones and traction control.

Even with all the safety devices set up, it is still important to get insurance for your car.  For buyers of brand new cars, you may be required to get car insurance.  For buyers of second-hand cars, you might want to check the status of the car’s insurance.  Getting one might be costly but you wouldn’t want to pay higher costs in case of accidents.

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