The Best First-Time Car-Buying Memories

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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