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First-Time Car-Buying Stories

POPSUGAR / paid for by / Ally

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Grim

Buying a new car is a big milestone in life. That's why we partnered with Ally for this post. They don’t just care about your finances, they care about you. And nothing stops them from doing right by both.

Buying a car for the first time is an exciting and eye-opening experience. Along with being a huge milestone, it's also a moment that comes with a touch of pride. You saved up the cash, spent the time hunting around, and are finally driving your very own new ride. We asked a few of our friends in different stages of life to share their first-time buying experiences, and they're all pretty amazing.

Don't Make Eye Contact

My dad always said you should never look a car salesman in the eye and that they were all out to get more money, no matter what. So when it was time to buy my own car, I was so freaked out and ended up asking my dad to come along. I thought he would take care of everything but instead he stayed back and made me do all the talking. I was so afraid I'd mess up! I took a deep breath, looked the person that was helping me straight in the eye, and told him exactly what I was looking for. He was awesome! So helpful and made sure I picked the right car. Even my dad was impressed. — Jenny, 19 years old

What a Celebration!

When I was 10, I started saving up for a new car. My parents always made fun of me when I would get $5 from Grandma and I'd ask them to put it in my savings account. But I stuck with it and when the day came that I went out and bought my dream car last year, I couldn't believe it when I drove it home for the weekend. My parents surprised me with a big party! They were so proud of me for saving my money for all those years. It was pretty awesome! — Max, 20 years old

Be Open to Making Changes

I went to test drive options with my dad and was sad to discover that what I thought was my dream car felt like a piece of crap to drive. I was so bummed! But then I fell in love with a pre-owned car that was only a few years old and cost way less. Win! — Joanna, 26 years old

Always Set a Budget

My husband and I decided it was time to buy a second car once I wasn't able to ride my bike comfortably while pregnant. I was completely against getting anything new or flashy but my husband was intrigued by a sparkly vehicle and had to take it for a test drive. While pouting in the back seat, I realized it might be the only chance I had to test drive a fancy car so made them pull over so I could give it a try. Once we returned to the dealership, I shared the max amount I was willing to pay, which was a large amount less than the list price. After a bit of back-n-forth, I drove the car off the lot for only $250 more than I offered. — Sarah, 34 years old

Always Ask Lots of Questions

I had saved money for years to buy a brand-new car and when the day arrived, I felt like I was getting married. I spent almost six hours at the car dealership and was determined to buy a car. There were, like, four people helping me and I know I was being super annoying, but I didn't care because this was my day. I went through every single question I could think of and even jokingly asked what would happen if I didn't like it the next day. The guy was like, bring it back! I totally didn't believe him. So when I realized I didn't like the car the next day and actually brought it back, he helped me find the perfect car for me. I'm still driving it five years later. — Meg, 28 years old

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Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Grim