Ah, the topic that never seems to get old when it comes to talking about anything auto-related is the topic of buying a car for the very first time. Almost everyone who purchases a car for the first time will tell you that it's like trying to commit the perfect crime; no matter how hard you try, you always make mistakes that will catch up to you.
Before you even think about hitting the dealerships, think about who you are as a person as well as the types of things you enjoy doing. Figure out whether or not you even need a vehicle to begin with. Do you travel a lot or are you a home body? Do you live in a small town where everything is within walking and/or biking distance? Do you live out in the country where you would be smart to purchase an SUV or some similar automobile that would be able to traverse rough terrain? These and more are the sorts of questions that you will and should ponder.
Next, you will want to consider how much money you have set aside to purchase a vehicle. While buying an SUV may be the most practical for you based on where you live, it may not be the most affordable option, which will limit you in getting what you want. You need to learn to ignore the salespeople at car dealerships as well but not entirely. Listen to what they have to say, but take everything with a grain of salt knowing full well that at the end of the day, they are trying to make a sale. The tricky thing about salespeople is that many of them are cunning, immediately trying to buddy up to you to pretend like they are your friend. After all, your closest friend wouldn't steer you wrong in buying a car, right?
Know the majority of the fact about the type of vehicle that you want before you head out to the dealership. Especially if you are a woman, you should bring someone with you to the auto dealerships (preferably a male companion who knows something about vehicles and vehicle purchasing). Do not reveal to the salespeople what you do for a living or how much money you pull in each week, month or year because many will use this information against you later to try to guilt you into buying a vehicle, citing that "you can afford it".
Remember, when you buy a car, you're not just paying the sticker price, you're paying whatever it is going to cost on top of that price in order to maintain the working order of that vehicle. Almost two years ago, I had just bought a brand new Jeep. When I arrived at work, I realized that my rear right tire was completely flat. When I went to change my tire using the spare tire that was located on the back of my Jeep, it turns out that the spare tire was defective! I wound up filling up the flat tire with enough air to get me to the dealership (which, thankfully was only a 3 minute drive away). The cost to have two tires replaced: over $100 plus labor!