Congrats! You're fresh out of high school and ready to switch gears. Wherever your next destination is - college, trade school, study abroad, internship – O Bee can help you get there with these 8 simple steps to purchasing your first car.
1. Maybe you don’t need a car
OK, you weren’t expecting this, but it’s important to take a moment to review your transportation needs. Public transportation and ride sharing are great alternatives that will save you money on all the costs of owning a car. Plus, you can always rent a car when you need it.
2. Know your budget
If you’ve determined that a car purchase is necessary, it’s time to draw up a realistic budget. Look at your monthly expenses to see how much of a monthly payment you can afford. Be sure to account for auto insurance, gas and maintenance.
3. Create a wish list
This is your first car, so it doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles. Make a list of all the “must haves” and “wants” in your vehicle and determine which features are most important. Other things you'll want to consider are fuel mileage, safety features, maintenance costs and resale value.
4. Obtain financing
Visit O Bee Credit Union to get pre-approved for your auto loan. A pre-approval is important for staying in your budget, car dealers taking you seriously and fast tracking the purchasing process.
5. Look up listings
Start scavenging for listings of your car choices online and in your neighborhood. Once you’ve found several that might work, research their histories on Carfax.com and then contact the seller to set up a test drive.
6. Take it for a spin
If a car checks out and everything looks good, you’re going to want to take it for a test drive. Pay attention to details like legroom, acceleration, brake functionality and more while you drive.
7. Have it inspected
If you’re purchasing a used vehicle, it’s best to have it inspected by a mechanic before signing on the deal.
8. Make it official
If your car has passed the test drive and inspection, you’re ready to make it official! Be sure to read all documents before signing and obtain insurance before your first joyride.
Don’t forget to stop at your local O Bee branch and pick up a tropical air freshener for your fresh new ride. Drive safely!
Check out O Bee's First Time Borrower options