The 3 C’s to Car Buying

car buying, first car

Do you buy a new car for looks or based on what you can afford?  Hopefully this will help you.

I have noticed many friends buying cars that are way out of their price range and struggling to make the payments.  Ever heard of the saying “house poor” well that is them except it is a car


There are many sites that you can go out on to find the true cost of ownership of the vehicle.  There are a lot of factors other than just the price of the vehicle that you need to be concerned with.  The one that I like is Edmunds True Cost to Own.  Consider insurance, the insurance premiums on your new ride may cost more than your old clunker.  There are many factors that go into determining this premium, and this is where the actuary comes into finding out the right price for your new ride.  Another factor determining the True Cost is fuel consumption that hybrid isn’t going to guzzle down the same amount of gas as your old clunker.  Loan interest rates are like playing pin the tail on the donkey, they are changing every day just like the stock markets.  Generally speaking the lower the interest rate the less premium you will have to pay to “borrow” the money.  Rates are at historic lows right now, so it may be time to buy.


What are you really looking for in a vehicle?  Do you need bigger one to tote those kiddies around?  Do you just want to upgrade to a more fuel efficient one?  Do you care about looks and styling enough to sacrifice spending a few extra bucks to get what you want?  Take a test drive in all of your finalists and make notes of exactly what you like in each one.  Sit down and think about it and if need be sleep on it a few days.  You do not want to make a rash decision and buy on impulse.


We are there can you feel it.  We are ready to purchase that shiny new car that we have been spending the last few days or weeks thinking about.  I hope you have done your homework and have a price in mind that you are set to pay for it.  Remember you do not have to pay the sticker price, time to break out those negotiating skills.  Set a price that you would walk away if you were not able to agree on.  Do not show the dealer that you have fallen in love with this vehicle, they will sense this.  They are going to try to sell you everything under the kitchen sink once you agree on the price of the car, just be prepared to say “No” if you do not want all of the extras and warranties.

Hopefully your new car buying experience will be a little easier now if you remember the 3 C’s.

PHOTO BY: Peace Chicken

6 thoughts on “The 3 C’s to Car Buying

  1. I have a fourth C to add. It’s Control! As in controlling yourself when the sales people tick you off!! I cannot stand when they try and push you around.

    1. @ Paul – I love when they try to act like you do not know anything. Just because I may dress like a bum doesn’t mean I deserve to be treated like I am not knowledgeable.

      1. Haha I dress that way too. Mainly because I know I will be there all day. Might as well dress comfortably!

        1. @ Paul – It is a game of endurance. Glad to see I am not the only one that dresses like one.

  2. Great tips! You definitely have to have a price in mind before sitting down with those car salesmen. And make sure you always talk about the final price – they’ll try to talk you into “what can you afford per month” which has thrown me off before.

    1. I have done that too. Or I like to throw in the wrench at the end and mention that I have a trade in, just to see the saleman squirm a little.

Comments are closed.