Maybe you’ve just graduated from high school and you’re looking for a little freedom? Maybe you’ve moved to Edmonton for university, and need to be able to get to school? Maybe you’ve recently come to Canada, and want to be able to get around town? Whatever the reasoning, you’ve reached that milestone so many people in North America eventually hit—it’s time for you to buy your first vehicle.
Well, you’ve come to the right place! We here at Team Ford aren’t the top selling dealership for new Fords in Edmonton for nothing. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are ready and willing to help you find the perfect vehicle for your needs. Before you come down to the dealership, though, there are a few things you might want to know, to make the whole experience easier for you!
Know Your Needs
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a muscle car, or a luxury SUV, or an almighty truck that can haul a boulder up-hill. But do you need one of those? If what you really need is something to just go between your home, work, and school… maybe look at a Ford EcoSport? It might not be as sexy as a Ford Mustang, but practical counts for something, especially in a first vehicle.
Don’t be afraid to do a little research ahead of time! The Internet is a great tool for narrowing down your choices a bit before you hit the dealership. Take a little time to peruse our website and you’ll be able to get plenty of information on many Ford makes and models. If you’re thinking of buying something used, don’t be afraid to check out other OEM pages to learn more about their vehicles.
Know Your Budget
Understanding what you can realistically afford every month in a car payment is essential. Especially if you’re going to school, or working part-time! If you can’t afford something flashy, that’s okay! Once you’ve got that windfall, you can spring for that luxurious Ford Expedition. Maybe, for now, it’s better to look at something simpler, or even used, to help save a bit on the cost. You can also bring the cost of a monthly payment down with a downpayment on your new vehicle, so consider saving up a bit before you make your purchase. Even $1,000 down could make a difference if you’re on a tight budget.
Don’t forget there are other expenses that go into a vehicle, too! Insurance, gas, regular maintenance and repairs also cost money, and you should take into account those costs while working out what you can afford.
Know Your Credit Rating
Unsurprisingly, having good credit makes it easier to get a car loan! Our finance department will work with you to find an option that works for whatever your credit score is, but if you want better rates on your loan, better credit will help. Improving your credit score is a bit outside the scope of this article… but we can offer a few quick tips. Consider consolidating credit card debt onto one card, rather than spreading it out. Pay down your debt load to under 30 percent of your available credit. Pay your bills promptly on the date they’re due. And don’t get old debt you’ve paid off removed from your credit report; banks like to see you’ve handled that debt, and having a longer credit history is ultimately good for your score.
Know Your Choice
Before you sign anything, be sure to take any vehicle you’re interest in for a test drive! It’s one thing to know how a vehicle looks on paper, it’s entirely another to actually get a feel for it on the road. And don’t be afraid to test out a few different vehicles, even if it’s just to compare them to the one you’re really interested in! Our team at Team Ford is happy to get you behind the wheel of anything in our inventory.
If you’re looking at a used vehicle, you also want to take a look at the Carfax report, which will give you a full rundown of its history. These reports are pretty thorough, and will give you an idea of the recalls, maintenance, repairs, or accidents the vehicle has been through during its lifetime. Also, by all means, test drive that used vehicle, too!
Also, be sure to ask about the warranty on the vehicle. Our finance department at Team Ford will be happy to walk you through that, and any other part of the purchasing process you may have questions about.
There you have it! It may seem daunting, but it really doesn’t have to be. If you follow these easy steps, you’ll be well on your way to being a proud, first-time vehicle owner! Our team here at Team Ford wants your first auto-buying experience to be as painless as possible, and we’re dedicated to helping you leave happy, and with the right vehicle!