Buying a car for the very first time is both exciting and thrilling. For yuppies, it is the one that occupies the first slot on their bucket lists right after landing a job. For a starting-off freelancer, it is a must-have and should be done as soon as possible. In an overwhelming reality of one finally gets to buy a wheel, one starts to face two options - get a brand new car or settle for a used car. So, which one is a smart decision in purchasing your first car - buy a brand new or buy a used car?
Brand new or Used car - things to consider:
1. Penchant for car changes - Today, your obsession might be owning a car. A couple of years from now, it might change. Most of the time it does. Factors that contribute to penchant for cars being not constant are: time, economic status, emergence of new gizmos, and self-discovery. Please let me explain.
When I bought my first and only car, a second hand Nissan Sentra 1995 model (in the photo), I never thought that I would stick to it. I kept telling myself that I needed to change it for a brand new or at least a later model. As time flies, I realized that my appreciation toward other car most especially to those latest models is fading. As I got used to driving my own car, it became real to me that whatever car I drive, it's all the same fact that I drive and the views I see while I steer and on the road are all the same. Above all, there is hardly any difference as far as the time I drive from point A to point B is concerned. Economic status had taught me that investing the money to a property is way way better than spending it for another car which never excites me anymore. The emergence of new gizmos and gadgets has impacted me strong enough that I always find time to immerse myself with difference aspects of their facets, usages and the vicariousness of things offered by many applications. Instead of driving to a grocery for example or to travel agency or airline company, I just hit them on my smartphone. So, the need for a car is relegated. Self-discovery had found me to realize what I really want. When I realized I really wanted to become a pro-blogger, urges and excitements of a new ride become inconsequential.
2. Car value depreciates - Unless a car is extremely rare or it is a collector's item, generally its value decreases as years pass. You can only wish that the depreciation rate of your car is low. In that case, you have to look at luxury vehicle brands such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Porsche, etc. When you buy a brand new car, its value drops significantly right after you drive off the property of its dealership.
3. Collisions happened in first cars - Regardless of whether your first car is a brand new model or a second hand, the fact is you are driving for the very first time. Or at least driving your first owned car. Believe me, it is in this stage of being a car owner that collisions with other motorists happened always. Take it from me because I've been through it. I was rear-ended, sideswiped many times and at one point a speeding utility-service crashed right onto my left side while crossing an intersection. Surely, your insurance will shoulder the expenses but having a brand new car subjected to series of accidents would accelerate the decline of its resale value. A smart car owner would not allow his car to depreciate on its post-purchase value faster than it should. Aside from proper maintenance, e.g., regular oil-change, checking belts, coolants, tires among others, the one important thing to avoid to happen is to have your slightly new car undergone body-repairs. That's the last thing a used-car buyer would want in a car deal. So, unless the tinkering you do to your car is for customization which might drive its value up, avoid body-repairs caused by collisions and crashes. In this aspect, a used car as your first car fits the timing, whether you have money for a brand new or none. The smart way to think about it is to treat your first car as your practice car. You know why? Because, unlike what you think right now, there are still a lot to learn in driving that haven't learned in driving school. And you will only learn from them once you hit the road - alone.
Tips on buying and owning a used-car
Before you decide to buy from a used car dealership, try to ask friends, acquaintances or relatives if they knew someone who is selling an owned car. Usually, it's more expensive to buy from a car dealership than from an actual owner.
If the seller won't allow you to test-drive the car being sold, don't buy it.
After the test drive, have a mechanic thoroughly checked the car. It would be much better if the mechanic would be the one to test-drive it.
Make sure that the spare tire is in optimum condition and inflated.
Three important tools that must-have inside your trunk:
EWD or Early Warning Device - Two reflectorized triangles, yellow and red. They are used to save your life when your car stalls. You place the red one 10 feet away from your car and the yellow one 10 feet away from the red. This is to inform all on-coming vehicles that another vehicle has broken down in front of them, so that they can avoid the collision.
Jumper cables - Batteries dies inevitably especially if you're driving a used car. Jumper cables are used to start a car that won't start by its own because its battery is dead. There are dangers in doing this so if you don't know how to do it, please acquire the much-needed knowledge by reading the tutorial below this post.
Jack and lug wrench - Although accidents of tires going flat is very minimal, it is still a big possibility. The best tip here is to make sure that all your tires are properly inflated. You will need these two tools to replace flat tire with your spare tire.
Other important tools that you should have are flashlight, wrenches and gloves. Imagine if you stalls at night in a dark highway. Nothing beats a proactive in thinking ahead of time.
Obtain a Vehicle History Report of the car you are buying. I said earlier that nobody wants to buy a car that had been to series of accidents, more so if it was either salvaged or totaled. Repairs can hide the damaged caused to a car. Get the car's Vehicle Identification Number or VIN, a 17 digit number, that you can find in its engine, dashboard, hood, doors and trunks and then run a vehicle history. Note: Make sure that the VINs you see in different locations in the car match each other.
Mileage should be lower than the 10,000 miles per year defined by the insurance companies. So, if the car you are buying is 5 year old, mileage of 48,000 miles at the most is reasonable. The lower miles the car is driven, the better for you to buy it. Of course, considering all other factors of a well-maintained car are taken into account.
How to use jumper cables to jump start a car?
First, make sure that it is the dead battery that causes your car won't start. Here are some determinants that your battery is the culprit: headlights are dim when turned on, dashboard still lights up when key is in the ignition, upon twisting the key to start a weak click is heard. Once you are sure that the battery is really dead, follow these steps:
Step 1. Open the hood and locate your battery. Some cars have their batteries in the trunk. If you can't locate the battery, see the car's manual.
Step 2. As with all other kinds of battery, car battery has positive and negative terminals. Positive has + or positive sign marking and a red cable is connected to it. Negative terminal has - or minus sign marking and a black cable is connected to it.
Step 3. Have a working car parked next to yours. The usual way is the working car facing the disabled car. But you can do it even if they are parked side by side if your jumper cables are longer enough. Remember that the cars should not touching each other.
Step 4. Turn off the engines and all electrical components of both cars, i.e., A/C, radio, lights and fan.
Step 5. Get your jumper cables which also have red and black cables. Two clamps are connected to an end of cables, for a total of four heavy duty clamps on opposite ends. By all means, do not let the red clamps touches the black clamps. No clamp should touch another during the process.
Step 6. Clamp a red clamp of your cables to the positive terminal of the dead battery. Clamp the other red clamp of jumper cables to the positive terminal of working car's battery.
Step 7. Clamp a black clamp of your cables to the negative terminal of the dead battery. Clamp the other black clamp of jumper cables to the negative terminal of working car's battery. Make sure that the rest of jumper cables are in the ground and nothing is touching any part of the engines.
Step 8. Start the engine of the working car first. Let it idle for three to five minutes.
Step 9. Now start the engine of your dead car. Let it idle for about five minutes. Put some gas a little bit and rev for few minutes.
step 10. Carefully, disconnect the clamps from battery terminals. Make sure that no positive or red clamp is touching negative or black clamp while disconnecting them.
Step 11. Do not turn off the engine of your just jump-started car. Rev it for around five minutes then let it idle for few seconds and rev for additional 15 minutes. After that, you can turn it off.
Because change is constant and so our penchant for cars fades, it is imperative we choose a model and design nearer to our heart when we decide to finally purchase a used car. As time goes by, the level of attachment we feel toward our first car is determined and influenced by its beauty in our own eyes and the performance the car run under our control. If we buy a jalopy just because we plan to replace it in the short term, there will be no fallback when we finally scratch the idea of buying a new car for the moment. We got to make the best of it. And so there will be a bit of discomfort when an opportunity of a good investment comes and the offer is so irresistible. When we came to love our first owned car, we can pass replacing it and invest the money to a more lucrative deal which eventually will give us the opportunity to get a more expensive car, like our dream car, in the future. What do you think? Leave your comment below.