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5 Things You Need to Do Before You Buy Your First Car

You've got your driver's license and spent quite a bit of time scrimping and saving to be able to purchase your first car, and the time has finally come. You've seen other people get in car accidents, have to deal with insurance companies and even have their driver's license suspended for things to do with the car accident. Before you head to the local dealership and then to the insurance company to get your own insurance policy, after showing them your driver's license, there are a few things you need to do before you buy your first car.

1. Research insurance companies.

You've watched your friends research how to get more money for your car accident case more times than you can count, and while it scares you to think of getting in a car accident and having to go through the same thing—from dealing with the insurance adjuster to higher rates on your car insurance and all that goes along with being the primary driver and owning a car. It's good to be cautious, since property damage and serious injury that result from a car accident should be carefully considered Take your time, and research the insurance companies in your area so that you'll have an idea of who's the best insurance provider when the time comes.

2. Ask the hard questions.

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As someone who's purchasing a car for the first time, you have to have questions about cars, car payments, and car insurance that you would love to have answered. Some questions, such as "can you get insurance without a license?" usually come with a hard no. After all, you can't be an unlicensed driver and get behind the wheel of a car legally. However, questions about insurance rates, what insurance company you should use, and what insurance policy option you should go with can be a little harder. It would be best if you had these questions in the back of your mind while you're looking for your first car and before then, while you're studying for your driver's license test.

3. Do your research online first thing.

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The first thing you need to do before heading out to buy your first car is to do your research online. Do your research on the make and model of the car you want. Find reviews about that make and model of car to determine if it's a good car or if people have had problems with it down the road. It's also important to research the dealership that you're considering using also. If they have a ton of bad reviews, then you might want to steer clear and find another dealership.

4. Check your credit score.

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Many insurance companies require that you have a good credit score, and of course, a valid license, to get car insurance through them. Not only that, but unless you go to a "pay here, buy here" dealership, you're going to need a decent credit score to get a decent car. In many cases, you're going to need a loan to pay off the car, which means financing the money through a lender. If you don't have a good credit score, then no one will be willing to work with you, from the car dealer to the lender and the insurer that you need to give you car insurance on your new car. Having a bad credit score is almost as bad as having no driver's license.

5. Take a trip to the insurance company.

Once you've found the perfect car for you, signed the paperwork, and made it yours, it's time to take a trip to the insurance company to get insurance coverage. The worst thing that could happen to you is to get into a car accident in your new car and not have the protection of insurance to cover the cost of repairs or the medical bills that could result from the car accident itself. Whether you choose to purchase a new or used car, you're still going to need insurance from a reputable insurer to put it on the road.

You need to take your valid driver's license and your paperwork for the car to the auto insurer that you researched insurance through earlier. The insurer can tell you what your monthly premiums and deductibles will be, plus tell you which insurance policy is the right choice for your auto insurance needs. Other than a driver's license, insurance through a reputable insurance company is just about all you need to get your new car on the road.

These are just a few of the things you should do before heading out to the dealership to buy your first car and a few things to do afterward. Remember, you don't want to have a car accident in your new car and be unprotected, so make sure that your insurance company is your very first stop to pay for and start your insurance policy.

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