Purchasing your first car is a major financial decision and can be overwhelming. First time car buyers might ask for advice from reliable people in their life who have already gone through the car shopping process. Ok fine, but how about seeking advice from someone who is actually in the automotive industry…US!

OneRequest gives you 24/7 access to all car buying resources (see: this blog post), leaving you educated and empowered for your first car shopping experience. Make OneRequest your go-to!

Here are our top five tips for first time car buyers. For you visual learners who prefer to skip the text, we have a gif accompanying each tip that tells you all you need to know.


Whether you’re financing, paying in cash, or leasing a vehicle, you’ll need to decide on a budget. Finding a car you love is great, but it is even better to find a car you love without blowing the bank. Your budget should be personalized to you—pick a number you don't want to exceed and stick to it. If you’re financing, shop around and find the best interest rates, and then make sure you feel comfortable with the monthly payment. Paying in cash? First, congrats on your financial discipline! Second, make sure you have some funds left over after making such a large purchase. Everyone one needs a rainy-day fund.

Check out our blog post, “How Can I Pay For My Car?,” to learn in-depth about different ways to pay for a car.


Before buying, have a clear idea of what you’re looking for. This doesn’t need to be an ultra-specific idea. It can be as simple as a four-door sedan or a pickup truck, although identifying the actual car becomes easier as you narrow your search. When thinking about what body type you want, it’s good to think about what you’ll primarily need from your new vehicle. Do you want everyone to ask you to help them move furniture? Consider a large truck—and maybe find new friends? Are you only using your vehicle to commute to and from work? Check out options with stellar gas mileage—go crazy and consider an electric vehicle. The options are endless but having an idea will make your car shopping experience more enjoyable.


We had to. Once you know what type of car you’re looking for, head over to OneRequest and submit your vehicle Request. Your Request can include as much detail as you want. Start with preferred year, make, and model, and then add more specific details, such as preferred trim level, colors, seats, and more. Once you create a Request, you can use OneRequest to anonymously communicate with car dealers (which we call Providers) and learn about specific listings without having to provide your contact information. Say goodbye to loads of calls and emails! Seriously, why would you shop for a car any other way?

Still not sure what you’re looking for? That’s why we have OneRequest Concierge.

Sheesh, we really do make car buying easy.

Test Drive

Test driving is a great way to get into the vehicle and experience it first-hand. If you're in a dealership, don’t be afraid to sit inside the vehicle, play around with the dashboard and take it on a test drive. Of course, this step is by no means required. With the increase in popularity of online car shopping, if you know what you want and don't care about a test drive, make sure to get an abundance of pictures and videos from the seller.  Study those carefully: you want to identify any imperfections and problems before the vehicle is delivered to your door.

Hint: If a seller is hesitant to provide photos or videos, be cautious. For a purchase of this magnitude, you are entitled to see any imperfections before finalizing a purchase. If they won't send pictures, move on.

It's More Than a Car

When you purchase a car for the first time, there are a variety of other responsibilities you take on. You need car insurance. Do your research and find the best policy for you, don’t simply purchase the first plan presented. You’ll also have to get the vehicle registered under your name and pick up a license plate. This process varies in every state, so we suggest you visit your state’s Department of Revenue website to learn more details. If you buy a vehicle from another state, there are other possible complications: you will likely need to pay home state sales tax and you may need a local VIN inspection before obtaining a title.

Ready to submit the Request to find your first car? Visit www.onerequest.com and get started today. OneRequest is here to make car shopping easy, and that means acting as a 24/7 resource throughout your entire experience. Got other questions? Email requestersupport@onerequest.com.