Buying a first can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also leave you with a lot of regrets if you get it wrong. The budget is one of the things you should be careful with seeing as how many people have limited budgets for their first ride. Here are some of the factors to include in your first-car budget.
If like most people, you will be buying the car on loan, then you should factor in how much money you need as the down payment when preparing your budget. A down payment of 20% or so is common so if you want to buy a $25,000 car, you should have something in the region of $5,000 for the down payment. This is money that you should actually have in your account because you will need to make the payment to the dealership when buying the car.
For most car loans, you have to make the repayments on a monthly basis. Note that your car may be reposed if you default on these payments for the specified period. Of course, the financier will be looking to make some money on the loan advanced to you so they will saddle it with fees and interest. Therefore, the best way to get an accurate cost of your monthly payments (which is necessary for good budgeting) is to get quotes from the potential financiers.
Insurance costs will also form a big percentage of your car ownership costs so you shouldn't ignore it during the budgeting. Insurance rates can be paid on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. However, the annual payment schedule may score you some discounts. Note that car insurance rates depend on multiple factors including the make and model of the car. You can get quotes for auto coverage rates for different cars online so that you can prepare a good budget.
Lastly, don't forget about the maintenance costs when preparing a budget for your first car. The maintenance costs depend on different factors such as the cost of spares, the typical repair costs of the car, and the frequency of breakdown of similar cars. Note that exotic, luxury or expensive cars generally cost money to maintain as compared to cheaper cars.
Hopefully, the advice above will help you buy the first car within your means. It might also help to go with an experienced person to help you maintain a level head at the dealership. Consider a new Honda as you begin your search.