Learn the Process
Learning to drive and getting a driver’s license – such a big step towards even more independence! You are moving closer towards the day when you will be out on your own. Buying your first car is something you will always remember. I have heard many of my friends share fond memories of their first car. This is going to be the first of many automobile purchases over your lifetime. If you can get more comfortable and knowledgeable about the process now, the task won’t be so dreaded every time you have to experience it.
We highly recommend that you buy or help buy your first car. Knowing that you earned it yourself just gives you a different perspective and will cause you to take better care of it. At our house, we will match whatever our kids save for their first car. We realize that not every parent is able to do that. If your parents can’t, that is OK. It is not a teenager’s right to have their parents buy them a car.
Buy with Cash
If you are motivated, you can find plenty of opportunities to earn money as a teenager. This will put you on a great path for all your future car buying purchases. You have a great opportunity now, while you are young with virtually no bills, to save up a chunk of money for a car. Then you can avoid ever getting into the car payment trap. Once you buy your car, continue putting money into a car savings fund like you did before- kind of like paying yourself a car payment. Then when you want to buy your next car you can use that savings combined with the money that you receive from selling your current car to buy an even better car.
Start at the sites that Hudson recommended on the podcast to begin your search. Make your list of potential cars like Keith said and then start checking them out. Some will be an automatic, “No,” as soon as you see them. Don’t feel like you have to buy the first one you see. When you feel desperate, you don’t think as clearly. The more you look around, the better you will get a spotting what is a good deal and what is overpriced. And reasonable deals are always available as long as you don’t have to buy something immediately. If you want to see if the asking price is reasonable, go to Kelley Blue Book. It is a fantastic resource for finding out car values.
Happy Car Hunting!