Thursday, July 25, 2013

Car Buying Tips for Girls

For any and all who know me, you might know I'm pretty focused on being independent. I'm not some raging feminist but I do believe that woman should be prepared to do a lot of things on their own. Women are waiting longer to get married and I want women to do anything they want to do. I want women to know that they are capable of relying on themselves. 

As I am a woman and a first time car buyer I want to continue to walk you through my car buying  process. I want to share what I am learning with all who care to read this to hopefully make the process easier for another first time buyer. 

So girls-here are some tips:

  • 1. Know your budget. Figure out what you think you can afford to pay per month. Figure out how high you can go with the total cost of the car and understand what your monthly payments will be. Do not forget to factor in the monthly cost of auto insurance. I have found out that mine will cost $112 per month.
  • 2Know what car you want-or at least the type.  Know what you want to use this car for. In my case I want a car that has good gas mileage, was not too large, could fit a bicycle in the back, and possibly even a kayak. I found all of this in the Pontiac Vibe. 
  • 3. Start looking online. Sites like,, and even allow you to put in specific parameters for finding the car you want. There weren't many of the cars I wanted in Jackson so I had to expand my search.
  • 4. Check the Kelly Blue Book pricing. Visit to see what the car is actually worth by the experts. It will differ if you are buying the same car from a dealer or a private seller. This will give you ammunition if the car's asking price is higher. You can reference this if you are negotiating a price. 
  • 5. Take someone with you to look at the car.When you find a car you like enough to look at in person take a second set of eyes. It could be someone who knows about cars or not, but you just need another person who may see things on the car or think of questions to ask that you may not. 
  • 6. Ask information gathering questions. Here is a good resource for questions about buying from a private seller. And here is a good resource with questions to ask of a used car dealership. 
  • 7. Get your auto loan and insurance in line.You can get pre-approved for a loan though your bank or credit union even if you are not completely ready to buy. (This is what I did.) This way when you are ready to buy the lender is already familiar with you and they can get you the loan quickly. Get one or a few car insurance quotes. If you know of a good agent in your area you can get a quote started over the phone or email. If you give them most of the information they need to run a quote they can have one ready when you go see them face to face. (This is what I did) I recommend seeing them in person so they can walk you through the coverage you will have. If you are clueless like I was it will make a lot more sense when a professional explains it to you. 
So girls this is the point that I stop...for now. Because this is where I am at. I got pretty close to a car, but while I was getting my ducks in line, the car was sold. Although I'm disappointed, I knew I had some things to get in line in my head and I wouldn't have felt comfortable going forward until I did. At this point I feel things are in order for me so I can keep looking and be more prepared for next time.