Cars & Vehicles

7 Must-Know Tips For First-Time Car Buyers

Buying a car is the first major purchase for many people, particularly young adults. The decision is often an easy one but the specifics could be difficult to figure out. It helps to have a guide like this handy when making the step to get yourself a new car. Pump the brakes and pull over to check out these 6 tips you should know before buying your first car.

7 Tips For First-Time Car Buyers

1. Know what you want: Budget for it

Buying something as complex as a car comes with its own challenges. Do I buy this brand or that brand? Is an automatic transmission what I really need? How do I know the price is worth it? Is it for Business such as Uber?

To answer these questions, you need to first take a break. Then consider what you will mainly use the vehicle for? What kind of roads will the vehicle be used? What will my budget allow?

Asking these basic questions will help you to come up with a rough understanding of your capabilities and our limits. It also helps you to assess what you really need so you don’t buy what won’t serve your purposes. It is also useful so you don’t go overboard and regret the expenditure later on. 

Seeking the advice of someone who already owns a vehicle is a very good idea. They will be able to explain how vehicles work and give you suggestions on which vehicles will fit your needs most. 

After these initial enquiries, you can then visit a dealership or a showroom to find out the actual prices and to seek more information before making a buying decision.

2. Perform Preliminary Checks

  1. Check the vehicle history. Any accidents? Etc
  2. Go for a test drive. Have a feel of driving it. 
  3. Check the mileage. 
  4. Inspect the condition of the tyres. Check the expiry dates too. 
  5. Feel the interior of the car as you will spend the most time in it

3. Negotiate the Price

Once you settle on what fits your budget range and needs, you need to negotiate. It may be within your budget range but you’d surely need extra cash to get the car checked, registered, other pertinent expenses. So get the deal at the best price possible. 

Whether you’re buying the car from a friend of a friend or a dealership, you need to learn how to negotiate. Negotiating can save you thousands off the total purchase, and in many cases save you from overpaying.

4. Avoid a Car Lease

When you go to a car dealership, the salesman will probably show you some models that are way out of your price range. It’s the nature of their job to try to sell customers on high priced vehicles as they make more commissions off them. 

Leasing always sounds tempting—especially since it has a lower monthly cost than buying a new vehicle. But it’s generally more expensive in the long run. You still have to pay for regular maintenance on a leased vehicle, and the dealership can charge you fees if the car comes back damaged.

Plus, after the lease is over, there’s no asset to show for the thousands of dollars you’ve spent. Unless you’ll only need the car for a couple of years and can deduct your mileage as a business expense, buying tends to be the better option.

5. Buy Used

There’s nothing better than getting into a new car—the perfect industrial smell, the pristine seats, the sparkle of a new paint job. But as soon as that new car drives off the lot, the value automatically decreases. According to Edmunds, a new car will lose 11% of its cash value once sold.

That’s not all. A new car will continue to depreciate significantly for the first five years of ownership. After five years, the resale value is 37% of its initial cost, according to Edmunds.

A car that’s more than five-years-old will still have most of the latest tech and safety features, while also being a more frugal option than a brand-new car. To truly find the best deal, be sure to consider a broad range of choices. This includes price ranges, dealerships, brands and models. 

6. Read the Contract Carefully

Any time you buy a car, you’re entering into a legal agreement with the seller. Whether you bought the car on Tonaton or from a dealer, the agreement is binding. In most cases, there’s nothing you can do once the papers are signed and the keys have been handed over.

That’s why it’s critical to read the terms of the sale before you sign. There are countless stories of salesmen and dealers including extra features in a car purchase that the buyer originally declined, like an extended warranty or tire insurance. For most car buyers this will be one of the first big financial decisions they make. So it needs to be thought out carefully.

It is often a good idea to make the legalisation of the transaction in the presence of witnesses. It’s best to go with 2 people to get your vehicle, your personal mechanic and someone who can sign as your witness and also help you make a good final decision. 

7. Get a Car Inspected

Always get a used car inspected by a trusted mechanic before you buy. If a dealership won’t let you get an impartial inspection, that’s a red flag. Even if the car looks great on the outside, you never know what’s going on under the hood. Machines can always be painted and the interior can always be redone. But serious engine and working problems will cost you money and frustrate you. A thorough inspection can save you thousands of cedis and endless aggravation.


Buying a new car is a great thing. An as such it should be done well even on the very first time. This short guide should be able to get you started. To have access to lots of verified car dealers, visit our classifieds for the best car deals in Ghana

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