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Sunday, March 03, 2024

College 101: A Guide to Buying a Ride

I’m going to graduate soon, and I already have a job lined up. I’m going to rent an apartment and buy a car. I’m excited about pretty much all of it--except for the car-buying part, which is really stressing me out!

See, I don’t really know anything about buying cars. I don’t know how to haggle or what to look for or whether to buy my car used or new. Can the experts give me a crash course in car buying?

Buying a car is something that millions of Americans do every year, but it’s also something that stresses a lot of us out. In fact, polls say we find car buying even more stressful than getting married. Yikes! Still, the truth is that buying a car doesn’t need to be confusing and upsetting--and can even be kind of fun!

The trick to buying a car comes in two parts. The first is to choose a reputable car dealer, so that you can rest assured that you won’t be taken for a ride when buying your new ride. The second part of the equation is going into the situation with a bit of knowledge. That’s where the experts can help you out.

For starters, you’ll want to think about whether you want a new car or a used one. Both have their benefits and their evangelists, so don’t feel like you’re going to get the “wrong” answer. Just know that, if you choose to buy a used car, you should rely on a car dealer with a good reputation and should consider buying a used car that is “certified” by a dealer or manufacturer, or one that comes with solid warranty protection.

When it comes time to actually haggle with the dealer, don’t worry too much. Car dealers are used to dealing with customers like you, and they’re not going to take offense or make life too difficult for you (and if they do, maybe you should try another dealer!). The basics of haggling over a car price are pretty simple: just set your budget (you can use resources online to find a fair price for the car), stick to your guns, and shop around at multiple dealerships!

All in all, you shouldn’t worry too much about your readiness for this particular journey. You’ll get to have some fun test-driving some cars, and you can be confident in your choice if you stay within your budget and go with a reliable car dealer. Good luck!

“I couldn’t find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself.” -- Ferdinand Porsche

Anthony Masterton is a writer of all things tech and Co-Founder / CEO of B2B Startup Obolo.

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