If you’re a first-time car buyer, there are some things you should know before putting a down payment on a vehicle. 


Buying your first car can be the most exciting thing in the world—but it can also be overwhelming. There are thousands of various styles and models to choose from, hundreds of financing options and deals, and the very common new car buyer dilemma, "Do I buy new or used?”


But don’t sweat it. Buying your first car should be fun and easy. We want this to be an enjoyable and memorable experience for you. So follow our 7 Best Tips for First-Time Car Buyers and we’ll get you on the road in the car of your dreams before you can say Bob Penkhus! 

1. Build a budget. Establishing a realistic budget before you buy a car is the first step to understanding the value a new car will bring. You can start by determining how much income you can afford to spend on a monthly car payment—and then add in the costs of monthly fuel, car insurance, and proper vehicle maintenance. You want to calculate all your new car costs to know how much you should save for a down payment and how much to commit to a monthly payment. When you establish your budget you’ll know how much you can spend—and then, the fun part begins! 


2. Decide how you’ll pay for it. Unless you’re going to pay for your first car in cash, you will need to choose a financing or leasing option that fits in your budget. This part often scares new buyers away—but it shouldn’t. At Bob Penkhus, our sales consultants will walk you through the right steps to help you better understand your monthly payments and check your credit score to determine your first-time car buyer financing, loan, and purchasing options. If you’re a first-time car buyer with no credit, we can help you too.  


3. Determine what you want and need. Make a list of what you want and need in a car. Do you need a car to drive to work or school every day or is it primarily for weekend off-roading adventures? How many passengers will you normally bring with you? What safety features are most important to you? Do you want Bluetooth or touchless technology? Think about where you live and the kinds of weather conditions (extreme heat, snow, rain, or ice) you might be driving in. When you can honestly evaluate your lifestyle and your needs—you’ll be able to make a smart car choice that will continue to benefit you years down the road. 


4. Compare different car models. The internet makes it easy to compare cars, dealerships, and prices. Explore your options online so you can have a good idea of what you’re looking for when you walk into the showroom. The more information you can tell your dealer about what you want in a vehicle will help them in helping you find the car of your dreams.  


5. Consider buying used. Not sure you want to buy new? Buying used is a viable option that many people prefer. However, if you do choose to buy used it’s best to go with a dealership to ensure you’re getting the best deal and an honest report of the vehicle’s history and accident record and at Bob Penkhus, we have some of the best car warranties that will make any purchase a good one! Including a 7 Year/100k Mile Limited Powertrain Warranty for new cars and a 3 Year/125k Limited Protection Plan for used cars. The best part? Both are complimentary to your Bob Penkhus purchase!


6. Take a test drive. Once you’ve determined a few of your favorites, take each of them for a test drive to see how you feel behind the wheel. Don’t just drive around the block—take the car out on roads you’ll travel each day to see how the car performs, sounds, and feels. (Finding the right car is like falling in love—you’ll just know when you find the right one.) 


7. Enjoy your new car! The best part of the buying experience is the feeling you have driving away in your new car! After all your car research and test drives, it’s time to sit back in your new seats, set the cruise control, and enjoy the drive. 

Ready to buy? Check out some of our favorite 2019-2020 Mazda models by clicking here. The 2020 Mazda CX-3, CX-5, Mazda6, and Mazda 3 Sedan and Hatchback have all been named Top Safety Pick+ (the IIHS’s highest safety award). 


And, as we all learn to live with the changing safety protocols that COVID-19 has brought to our world, one thing we can know for sure is this: The health of you and your family are at the top of the priority list, so please continue to check the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for the most updated tips and protocols on staying safe and secure. 


If you’d feel safer at home than coming into the showroom—stay put. We’ll come to you with our stay-at-home valet car service. We want you to know we take your safety very seriously and you can count on us to answer any car-related questions you might have. 


Contact us today at (719) 785-9666.   

- Your friends at Bob Penkhus Mazda at Powers