#buying a car
Unless you live in a big city like New York, having a car is a necessity in the U.S. It is not considered a luxury item. While there are many luxury cars available for those who can afford them, buying at least a basic car is required. Having a car gives you the freedom to move around easily. At the same time, you are also responsible for car payments, insurance, registration, gas, and any required repairs.
Lack of Credit History
Unless you brought a lot of money with you when you moved to the U.S. you will have to finance the car (take a loan). It is very difficult to get a loan without having any credit history. Credit history is a way of determining the risk in giving you a loan by seeing whether you’ve repaid loans or bills timely in the past. Therefore, you may have to provide other means of proving yourself. You can show an employment letter with salary mentioned, pay stubs, and whatever money you already have for a down payment. Some employers offer new employees loans to help with large purchases like this. If your employer is very large, they may have a credit union or access to one. Ask your employer if they offer these services.
It may still be possible to get car loan without credit history, but your interest rate will be higher. As well, the interest rate for dealer financing is generally higher than other third party banks or financial institutions.
Be sure to take a loan with no more than 48 installments (4 years). Otherwise, you may be buying something you can’t afford. If possible, pay at least 20% of the purchase price as a down payment.
Choosing a Car
There are many varieties of cars available in the U.S. and prices vary widely. Prioritize what you would like in a car and take your budget into account. With this information, you should make a short list of cars you both want and can afford.
Many people prefer Japanese cars over American cars because they require less maintenance and have a higher resell value. The most popular Japanese car manufacturers are Honda and Toyota. Among them, the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, and Toyota Corolla are very popular among Indians.
Most cars generally have four doors. However, some cars have only two doors, one on each side. Even though two-door cars are cheaper, it is harder to seat many people in them. As well, if you have children and require car seat, it is very inconvenient to use a car seat with two-door cars. Some two-door cars have higher insurance rates, as they’re considered sportier.
Cars can either be automatic transmission (gear) or manual (stick shift). Most people drive automatic cars, and it is recommended that you buy automatic car, as well. In a stick shift car, there are three pedals – the accelerator, clutch, and brake – and you have to use both feet. In an automatic car, there are only two pedals – the accelerator and brake. You use only one foot and you don’t have to manually change gears. You may save a little on gas with a stick shift car, and you may be able to occasionally accelerate faster after stopping. However, taking into account all conveniences and benefits, an automatic car is much better.
Be sure to make a list of items that you would and wouldn’t like in the car. Some items to look for are power steering, power doors, power windows, power mirrors, air conditioning, child safety locks, air bags, side air bags, color of the car, seat material (leather or fabric), etc. Also keep in mind that it is very necessary to have at least the minimum features of air conditioning, etc. for easier resale of the car.
Buying New or Used
You can either buy a new car or a used car. Both have pros and cons. If you have a stable job with a good company, you may want to buy new car. It is generally preferable to buy new car if you can afford and managed to get a loan.
New cars have to be purchased from the car dealer. Used cars can either be purchased from a car dealer or a private party. Regardless of which type of car you buy, be prepared to negotiate with car dealers and their salesmen. Unlike most other purchases, car prices are not fixed, and it is very important to negotiate and find the right deal.