The first time you buy a car can be one of the most memorable experiences of your life, whether it was good, bad, funny or exciting!
You can also learn a lot from that first car buying experience. Here are some of the first time car buying experiences and advice from those at Fluid:
My first car was a VW Golf 2 (my dream car back then). I am the only child, and my parents always made it clear they wouldn’t buy me a car. So I started saving money to be able to afford it myself. We had a new dealership right next door to our home, and I saw this beautiful Madison VW Golf 2 in grey. I told my parents about it and got all excited, even though I knew I could not afford the car. On a Saturday, my parents handed me over the contract that they bought the car and said that I only had to pay half of it; they paid the rest. I was the luckiest girl on earth and had the car for a long time.
I remember when I was with my brother buying his new Hyundai car. The salesman we had was someone we knew from high school and he happened to work there. It was toward the end of the year when they had to get rid of “older” models, so we kept going back and forth on the price points, and with a bit of salesman skills on our side, we had convinced them to get the final price of the car to be quite low (and a steal in all honesty). When it came down to sign the papers with the person explaining all the details and whatnot (someone else than the salesman we knew), the price was much higher. When we showed them the final price from the sales guy, the higher manager didn’t honor the price we had come to. We were disappointed and felt we wasted days of negotiating prices back and forth for nothing.
My first car was a 1984 Nissan 200SX that I bought at 16 years old for $750. When it first came out, the digital speedometer and voice alert that your door was ajar was the new wave of future cars. But by 2006, these features would barely work on a good day. I hardly ever knew how much gas I had left, and the speedometer always said I was going 0 on the freeway. I did buy a new CD player for it, though.
I just bought my first car last year. I learned two things: First, salesmen can be very pushy; and second, it’s all about who you know. I started by looking around at a few different dealers. I made the mistake of giving one salesman my phone number, and he would not stop calling me – even after I told him I already had bought a car! I ended up going with a dealership that a friend worked at, and he was able to give me a great deal without being pushy at all. I learned that knowing someone in the car industry makes the process a whole lot simpler!
My first car purchase was pretty straight forward. I found my dream car, a 1995 Toyota 4Runner, at an apartment building where it had been well cared for and rarely driven. The older gentleman who sold it to me gave me a fair price, or so my dad told me. At age 16, I didn’t really care. I wanted a car and was really happy it wasn’t going to be a purple Dodge Avenger. Things were looking up!
I bought my car, got it home, called my friends and shortly thereafter we were driving around, finally free from carpool and family schedules. But just as the fun began, I got a flat tire. Semi-knowing how to fix it but not being a great driver, I pulled into the closest parking lot and stopped as quickly as possible to not ruin my wheel – cause that’s what you do, right? Little did I know that I parked on an incline, which would make jacking the car up both difficult and dangerous. To add to the embarrassment, I left my car on so we could listen to our sacred tunes, but when everyone got out to help, they shut the door and we got locked out.
On my first day, I had to have my dad come get me, open my car and replace the flat. Needless to say, I wasn’t instilling confidence in my new found driving freedom with my parents or friends.
I bought my first car through Nate Wade Subaru. A friend of mine had highly recommended them to me, and I always wanted a Ru of my own. I was so excited to get one. I had picked a used one and put down a security deposit. I got a call the next morning from the salesman who said that the car had been sold to someone else who had already placed a security deposit down on the vehicle, and the computer hadn’t logged that info when I placed my deposit. I was not happy at all, and I told my friend who referred me. He told me to call the owner himself and see what they would do for me. So, after multiple phone calls to his secretary, and after calling at different times of the day, I finally got in touch with the owner. I explained how I felt and that they came highly recommended. He looked into it and called me back, asking if there was another car I was interested in. Fortunately, there was one that was very similar, except it had a few extra perks in it. So, they lowered the price down to what I had agreed to pay on the other car, and I bought it. It was a little rough, but they came through with great service, and I got a car that was better than what I expected. I still drive it!
Share your first time car buying experience with us in the comments!