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Buying Your First Car: A Full Checklist for 2023

Buying Your First Car: A Full Checklist for 2023

The process of buying your first car is an exciting time. You’re getting your first taste of real independence and the entirety of our beautiful country opens up for real. Getting it right can make a real difference to your experience and to the car you end up with.


As we all remember our first car like we remember our first love, it’s something worth doing right!


Here is what our auto loan team thinks every first time car buyer should do before setting foot in a dealership.

Set Your Budget


Setting a budget is the very first thing you should do to start buying a car. You’ll need to know how much you can afford and how much you’ll need to save as a down payment to ensure you’re covered.


Factor in running costs and insurance and come up with a figure you can afford.


If you’re using a Lincoln auto loan, factor those running costs on top of the monthly loan payment.


Create a needs and wants list


A needs and wants list feeds into budgeting. Create a list of all the things you need your car to have like AWD, navigation, enough trunk space for sports equipment, the ability to take a mountain bike into the mountains or whatever you need.


Create a separate wants list of all the things you would ideally like your new car to have.


Your budget should aim to deliver as many of your needs as possible with as many wants as you can afford.


This list helps keep you focused on what’s important and is worth doing before you begin researching cars.


Save for the down payment


Saving is key whether you’re paying cash or saving for a down payment. Either way, the more you have saved, the more you can spend. It’s a balancing act. Saving money takes time. Time you’ll be without a car.


But, the more you save, the better car you can buy or the lower the loan you’ll need.


Only you can decide how much and when to save.


Settle on a used car


We won’t tell you what to do but we recommend buying a used car as your first. You’re going to damage it so cheaper is better. The car will get scratched and dinged and it will suffer a little as you get used to driving in Canada.


It will hurt a lot less if you damage a cheap used car than it will if you ding your shiny new model!


Perform your research


Now you can put your budget, needs and wants list and down payment to use by researching cars in your price range. If you’re planning on using a Lincoln auto loan, factor that into the research too.


Research cars you can afford with the combined amount and research auto loans to get the best rate for your credit score.


If you’re a student or have no or poor credit, we can help. If you have good credit, we can help you too. We can also help find you the perfect car for your needs and budget!


If you're ready for a car loan in Southern Ontario, we'd love to help with that! simply fill in the form below to get started.

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