A survey on first-car experiences and helpful information for first-time car buyers

Illustration of three happy car owners in front of an SUV, sedan and Jeep

Call it a rite of passage. An important step in adulting. Or a necessary item to get to and from work or school. However you refer to your first car, it’s the sort of experience many are not likely to forget.

From the places they were purchased, to the test drives, to the first-time financing, we all have memories associated with our initial set of wheels. I remember sitting behind the wheel of my preowned Volkswagen at age 16 — getting acquainted with the steering and gear shift and adjusting the seat and mirrors to make it my own. Good times!

We conducted a survey to hear from others about their first-car experiences and the types of vehicles that were part of their maiden automobile journeys.

See below for illustrations of the survey results.

Illustration of survey results from first-time car owner survey

Financing for first-time buyers

You may be in the market to get your first car and going through all the options mentioned in the survey. If you are looking for financing as a first-time car buyer, there are some things to know.

Getting prequalified for financing is a great initial step to your next vehicle. Not only does it help you pick out the right car for your budget, it assists in narrowing down the specifics if you are casting a wide net of makes, models and features.

Get there faster with Drive

Speaking of budget, creating a monthly budget that includes your potential new vehicle and associated expenses (such as insurance, maintenance, etc.) is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up with the perfect car for your lifestyle and financial situation. For helpful information on how to get started, check out this short video.

You can find out more about first-time financing at the article “Auto financing for the first time buyer.”

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