You’re a new college graduate. Congratulations! Now that you’ve “turned your tassel,” flung your mortarboard in the air, and received your diploma, it’s time to make your mark in the real world. You’ll probably have a list of some important things you want to accomplish, like getting a job, finding an apartment, or buying a car.
For many college grads, the thought of buying a new or used car can be intimidating. This may be the first major purchase you’ll be making without assistance from your parents. Don’t worry. We here at Knudtsen Chevrolet, the number-one Chevy dealership in northwest Idaho, including Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane Valley, have got you covered. We’ve put together a list of 10 tips for first-time car buyers that will be your roadmap toward making a successful car purchase.
GM College Discount Program Benefits Graduates
Before we go into that, we’d like to introduce you to an exciting program from General Motors that’s just for recent college graduates. It’s called the “GM College Discount Program,” and it’s designed to help save you money on your new car purchase. Here’s how it works: Go to www.gmcollegediscount.com and follow the instructions to sign up to receive your unique Authorization Code. You will need this code when you visit Knudtsen Chevrolet to receive your special discounted price on any eligible new 2015 Chevy car or truck. You can check the website for a list of eligible GM vehicles. Be sure to read and understand the complete Rules & Guidelines so you are fully aware of your responsibilities under the program. Then, build and price the car you want to see the discounted price. Now that you have this information, you can search our inventory online, or come on down to our dealership. That’s all there is to it.
Like we promised, here are 10 tips for first-time car buyers that will help guide your way through the often confusing process of purchasing a new vehicle:
Come up with a budget
You need to know what you can afford. The first step is to write down all of your expenses, like rent, groceries, health insurance, entertainment, and groceries. Be realistic. Remember that cars are expensive to own and maintain; requiring regular maintenance, auto insurance, and fuel.
Determine what monthly car payment you can afford
Once you’ve done the math, you need to find out just how much debt you can handle when financing your car. Remember that you are obligating yourself to make regular payments for two, three, four years, or more.
Figure out what you really, really need
It’s very easy to fall in love with a new car that has all the bells and whistles. Now is the time to step back, get real, and manage your expectations.
Prioritize what you want
You don’t necessarily have to buy a car that you ultimately won’t be satisfied with. If you can cut back on other expenses to get a car with the features you want – and still live within your budget – it’s something to consider.
Do your homework
This is a very important step. Not only should you check out our inventory online at Knudtsen Chevrolet, take advantage of the many automotive consumer websites out there, like consumerreports.org, kbb.com, Edmunds.com, and others before you settle on a car. You can also read car reviews on motortrend.com, caranddriver.com, and other automotive magazines.
Take a test drive
Once you’ve picked out your car, done your research, and have your budget in order, head on down to Knudtsen Chevrolet and take your car out for a spin. Ask yourself: Does it feel comfortable? Does it meet my expectations? Try and drive the car both on the highway and on city streets, if possible. Have the salesperson go through all of the features so you understand how the car works.
Get your financing in order
It’s helpful to have your financial ducks in a row, so to speak, before you sign on the dotted line. Know your credit score, the interest rate being charged, and carefully look over the sales contract to make sure you understand what you are signing.
Understand the difference between a lease and a purchase
Leasing a new car is basically renting it for a set number of years at a set monthly payment. You don’t build equity in the vehicle, but you do have the option of paying off the remainder or converting the lease to a purchase when the lease comes due. When the lease is up, you drop the car off and walk away. However, you may be charged reconditioning fees for wear and tear. Also consider that leases have mileage caps. Go over the cap and you’re dinged for extra costs. Of course, buying a car means that when you’ve paid it off, you own it. Decide what best fits your finances and your lifestyle.
Consider a pre-owned vehicle
If buying new isn’t an option, we have plenty of excellent pre-owned vehicles to choose from here at Knudtsen Chevrolet. Our “certified pre-owned” models come with our Owner Care package that includes two years of scheduled maintenance, plus a 12-month, 12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. You’ll also get a transferrable five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance and courtesy transportation.
Enjoy the process
When all is said and done, buying your first car should be positive and hassle free. Our sales professionals here at Knudtsen Chevrolet will make sure that your customer experience exceeds your expectations. Because we want you to be completely satisfied that you got the best deal at the best price. After all, this may be your first new car purchase, but it won’t be your last. And we hope to earn your business again down the road.
Graduate to an award-winning new 2015 Chevy at Knudtsen Chevrolet
There’s no better time to step up to the award-winning quality of a new 2015 Chevy from Knudtsen Chevrolet, like a new 2015 Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup, recently named “the most awarded truck in 2014.” Or the 2015 Chevy Colorado, winner of Motor Trend’s 2015 Truck of the Year award. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy and affordable it is to drive away in a new Chevy with our money-saving dealer markdowns, special financing offers, and manufacturer incentives. Visit our model showroom, conveniently located at 1900 Polston Ave., Post Falls, ID 83854. For Sales, call 877-270-3220. For Service, call 877-310-0364.