Buying Your First Used Car? Tips to Save Money and Get the Most Value

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Used car shopping: Easy ways to save money

Getting a car can be exciting, especially if you’re a teenager. It’s also a big commitment and something you should give a lot of thought to before you make your final decision. Words like ‘commitment’ and ‘thought’ often fall on deaf ears when it comes to teenagers, but sometimes a bit of pre-planning can save you a lot of money.

When I was 15 I bought a copy of the Ontario Driver’s Handbook because I was so excited to get behind the wheel of a car and start driving. My birthday is late in the year, so most of my friends got their beginner’s licence a few months before I did. I’d read the book every day, memorizing the rules of the road and envisioning myself driving a car for the very first time. It was of little surprise to anyone that I scored 100% on my G1 licence test, which I made my dad drive me to on my 16th birthday.

If I could go back in time, I would definitely have done things a bit differently when buying my first car. I’m going to share my experiences so that you might not make the same mistakes yourself.

Here’s a short list of what I learned about buying a car. This advice is good for anyone looking to buy a used car, but especially for someone buying their first vehicle.

Shop Around

Shop around and understand the value of cars in your price range. You won’t know what really is a good deal, until you have a lot of comparison knowledge. I would look at dealerships and on websites that list private sales to see what the market has to offer. You might have some wiggle room if you’re a good negotiator, but in most cases, you can expect to pay what you see. It can also be important to get a vehicle history report to see if the vehicle has had any major accidents or repair work done in the past. The car may look fine now, but those little surprises can lead to major extra costs in the future. It’s usually best to shy away from cars that have had major repair work done.

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