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Readers share the most helpful car-buying tips they have ever received

We know others will find these useful, too
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Buying a car is no small task. Whether it’s your first, second, or third purchase, or regardless if you’re buying brand-new or secondhand, there are a lot of factors to consider before you even think about pulling the trigger.

Research is the answer. You read about the car’s specs and features and check out reviews about it on websites. As our favorite soldier from our childhood once said, knowing is half the battle—lest you end up having some slight regrets about that first purchase.

Of course advice from others can also prove to be just as valuable—be it from a previous or current owner of the car you’re eyeing, or simply from a knowledgeable car guy you know.

So, in the interest of paying it forward, we asked you guys to share some of the most helpful tips about car shopping that you’ve ever received. 

“Buy the car that you want, not what others want for you. Your own smile while driving/owning it is more important than the smile of others looking at what you are driving.” – Ali Mangaliag

“Costs such as maintenance and gasoline should be taken into consideration.” – Raphael Gallardo

“If you’re not sure, it’s not the car for you. For secondhand [purchases], always bring your trusted mechanic. – Futomi Nomura

“Always join Facebook car groups before buying. You’ll see the advantages and disadvantages from the users.” – Mervin Ray Miranda Carbajal

“Never buy brand-new unless you can stand to lose a considerable amount of money. Go for used or repo’d for minimal depreciation out of the lot kahit pa i-full payment mo agad. Shoot for something within warranty pa as per odo reading at may reliable na user reviews kung hindi ka kumportable mag-maintain. Kung ang issue lang naman ay tech, andali lagyan ng head unit na may Android Auto o Apple CarPlay ang mga kotse. Bring a mechanic for good measure during test drives.” – Dominic Lindog

“Check kung nabaha. Check yung carpet, rubber seals, likod ng glove compartment, trunk, likod ng ceiling, ilalim ng upuan, etc.” – Santos Giancarlo

“When buying a secondhand car, always have +20% ready cash of the total amount for any repairs and maintenance needed.” – Nathan Hargreaves

“Always consider the brand’s service, availability of parts, and the car’s resale value.” – Harel Castillo

“Having a ‘common car’ or ‘taxi car’ isn’t bad. Parts are much easier to find and usually affordable.” – Veronica Peralta

“Mag kotse pag may garahe.” – John Joshua Ediza

“Yes, you can afford the SRP. But don’t forget that’s not all you’ll be spending on a car. Factor in the cost of ownership (i.e. PMS/long-term maintenance of the vehicle, insurance, and registration renewals).” – Angelo Pio Bleza

“‘If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.’ Proven this a few times. Applies to all other things too.” – Ian Maristela

“Unless you're buying a car for business, it is and will be an expense.” – Rey P. Macrohon

“Always stick to your budget and always do a test drive.” – Ken Sy

“Learn to drive a car and follow the traffic rules before actually buying your own car.” – Dan Pichay

“There’s only two car brands in the world: Toyota and the rest.” – Jose Paulo C. Chang

“A car is not an investment.” – MarcJing Almario

“For your first car, buy a used car and learn from it.” – Lucky Go

“Buy a car that you always see on the road.” – Joel Ibañez

“If you are heavy or have big kids, always get the bigger engine if possible.” – Andrew Diaz

Got any more advice you’d like to share yourself? The comments section is open.

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