Steps towards buying your First Car

Your experience as a first-time car buyer can be exciting – but a bit intimidating. If you’re new to the entire process, here are some tips you’ll need to know when purchasing your vehicle from a dealership or private seller.

Know your Budget

Establish what you can afford per month. Consider your cost of living and allocate the remainder toward car payments, insurance and gas. Remember to keep your budget as realistic as possible. You are only hurting yourself if you lowball the budget and don’t consider all the related costs of owning a car.

Do Your Research

With access to a variety of reputable sites, purchasing a car has never been easier. In fact, 80% of millennials are turning to their smartphones while car shopping, according to Be sure to keep an open mind and search for a car that fits your needs – and your budget.

Sites such as Kelley Blue Book, Carfax, and Autotrader are a great place to start.

Take it for a Spin

Using online resources to guide your search can only go so far. It all comes down to getting behind the wheel and test driving it yourself. This is your chance to see if the car’s comfort and performance meet your expectations.

Here are some things to look out for during your next Test Drive.

Secure Financing

Be sure to compare rates offered by local financial institutions and know your options. It is important to be smart with your money, also see 5 Smart Steps to Financing Your Next Car.

If you’re buying your first car – or your fifth – check with Travis Credit Union first! We offer low rates on auto loans and when you get pre-qualified for an auto loan, you can shop with confidence knowing just how much car you can afford. You can also visit our Auto Loans page to learn more about your desired vehicle.

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