What lessons did you take away from your own first car-buying experience?

I’d appreciate any insight you have to offer as someone who’s shopping for his first car.

“When I went to buy my first car, I already knew what car I wanted and had already done my research. So I knew the value of the car that I was trying to buy before I even got to the dealership. I ended up getting a great deal from a reputable, no-haggle dealership that treated me right. It’s been nearly 17 years, I still have the car, and I have spent a minimal amount of money on maintenance.
Despite being more than happy with the experience overall, there are a few things I would do differently. First and foremost, I would have looked into getting pre-approved for a loan prior to going to the dealer. The dealer financing was fair, but that is not always the case and I needed a cosigner to get a decent annual percentage rate (APR).
Also, knowing what I know now, I would not have bought the extended warranty. On average, most cars will last over eight years without the need for major service work. My first car was five years old at the time of purchase, and it was well paid for by the time it needed a major component replaced. I bought another car from the same dealer years later, this time with pre-approved financing and no extended warranty. “
Johnny Puckett
Answered on Apr 09, 2021
Johnny Puckett is a freelance writer and automotive expert. He has contributed content to a number of some of the largest online publications, aftermarket automotive manufacturers’ sites, and automotive informational sites. His experience in the automotive and information fields informs his writing at Jerry. His automotive interests bleed into his free time, where he enjoys modifying his favorite cars and woodworking.

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