Buying your first car can be a nerve-wracking experience for some people. Whether you’re buying new or used, if you’ve never gone through the process before then you might start feeling a bit overwhelmed. There’s so much conflicting information out there that it’s hard to figure out which advice is good and which should be ignored.

But buying a vehicle isn’t as complicated as you might think. There are a few things you should know before heading out to buy something. Here are the most important things to know:

1. It’s ok if you’re not sure exactly what you want

Don’t think that you need to settle on an exact make and model before leaving your house. Lots of people think they are going to buy a certain vehicle only to decide that something completely different is a better option. It’s great if you have a particular type of vehicle in mind, but don’t attempt to limit yourself before looking around.

2. You should figure out how much money you have for a down payment

It’s very helpful if you take stock of your finances and figure out how much you can (and are willing) to spend towards a vehicle. Of course, you’ll want to have a rough idea of how much you can afford for your monthly payment as well. Keep in mind there are a number of down payment and financing and leasing options, so chances are you’ll be able to find something that works for you.

3. Your credit score will be a factor

Many first time car buyers have limited credit, but it’s worth noting that your credit score will have an impact on what kind of financing you qualify for. That being said, there are so many financing options out there designed for people with all kinds of credit profiles that it’s unlikely you won’t be able to get approved. That being said, having a great credit score is always preferable for the buyer.

4. Make sure you take the vehicle out for a test drive

Even if you absolutely fall head over heels in love with a vehicle, you should still take it out for a test drive. There is always the possibility that you might not feel comfortable driving it and taking it for a spin will help you figure it out. It might also confirm just how great of a fit the vehicle is for you. If you can, take the vehicle out on the highway and on some back roads so you can experience driving it in varied conditions.

5. If you like a deal, take it

If you’ve found a vehicle that you like and a price and payment you’re comfortable with, take the deal. The automotive business moves very quickly, and vehicles and deals that are available one day are frequently unavailable the next. As they say, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

6. You should enjoy the process

As a first time car buyer, you might feel a bit stressed out. But it’s important to take a step back and try to enjoy the process. After all, you’re spending money that you’ve worked hard for on something that you should enjoy. So why not make the entire experience feel the way it’s supposed to, like you’re rewarding yourself.

7. Make sure to work with a good salesperson

Working with a great salesperson can mean the difference between a great and a not so great car buying experience. There are lots of great salespeople out there who can help guide you through the process and get a fantastic deal. Don’t assume that all automotive salespeople are the same everywhere. And if you’re considering buying a car for the first time, make sure to give me a call, I’d be happy to help!