The Biggest Financial Pitfalls of First-Time Car Buyers

Buying a car for the first time is an exciting time for anybody. You can finally get out the fuzzy dice because at last, you have a car to call your own. It takes a significant amount of planning and foresight to buy a car, and doing so can even be emotional as you say goodbye to your hand-me-down beater car that’s simply full of memories.

People develop all sorts of attachments to their cars, and you want to be able to enjoy the ride of first-time car ownership (so to speak). When you are buying one for the first time, you should do everything you can to make the process as easy and painless and can be.

You Have Debt But Need A Car

If you are living with debt that you’re struggling to manage, needing a car can feel like a financial burden. The thing is, it’s possible to live in a way where you can reduce a lot of the financial stress that can really drag a person down.

If you need debt relief, then a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (formerly known as a bankruptcy trustee) can give you all the information you need to consider your debt relief options. You might need credit counselling or you might need to go through a federally regulated debt relief process like bankruptcy or consumer proposals. Regardless, bankruptcy trustees can help you compare bankruptcy versus a consumer proposal so you can make the best decision for your financial recovery from overwhelming debt.

Pitfall: You Don’t Know What You Can Spend

The total amount of debt that you owe is not the same as the monthly commitments you have to paying back creditors. For first-time car buyers, it’s crucial that you understand all of your financial obligations and know where the money for car payments is going to come from. Your base obligations are the car payments, insurance, gas, and maintenance — not anything to take lightly! You can save some money on car insurance using comparison sites such as

Pitfall: You Aren’t Clear on Your Transportation Needs

A car is a solution to a transportation problem, plain and simple. While we have all sorts of upgrades and comforts that make cars feel like a part of our identities, you really only need something that will get you from point A to B. Sure, this might not be an exciting thing to remember when you’re looking at all sorts of shiny car models with all of the newest upgrades and features.

Pitfall: You Haven’t Prioritized What You Want

Many people struggle with saving money and living within their means because they associate making smart financial decisions with holding back on getting the things you really want in life. Budgeting is by no means punishment, and there are always ways to ensure that your way of bouncing back from debt doesn’t cause you to burn out.

While you have to be smart about getting the right car to meet your transportation needs, you should also identify and prioritize the things that you want. You aren’t going to do any harm by writing out a list of all of the things you’d love in a car, even if it’s out of your budget. If there’s something that qualifies as a “want” but it’s going to really improve your life, then it could be worth it to pay the extra costs.


Married for eons, mom of 10, Nonnie to 26 with a great grand coming soon, to add to the mix. Avid reader and photo taker, scrapbook queen and jewelry maker. Collector of dishes, planners and pens. Lover of animals, chocolate and spends…long hours soaking in the spa tub (with a fully charged tablet, diet soda, and grub). She’s worn lots of hats, tossed most to the wind, and doesn’t mind starting all over again. Every day is a new adventure…come along for the ride!

Libby has 4461 posts and counting. See all posts by Libby

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