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AutoTrader’s Brian Moody Shares Do’s and Don’ts for Buying First Set of Wheels

I drove well over 5,000 miles this summer. The majority of that was my road trip to North Dakota through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park with a return trip through Glacier National Park. That trip in of itself was over 4,400 miles. A day after I returned from that trip I was back in the car driving to my high school reunion.

Road Trip Essentials

The reunion was only 120 miles away – piece of cake after my seven state road trip, right? But my car started making some really weird knocking sounds. This started to panic me because I was afraid that I would need to go car shopping! Car shopping is not something that I enjoy. Not one bit.

The car made it to Santa Rosa and then it made it home – the whole time knocking – all the way through 880 and Oakland traffic. Every knock had me thinking, if I need a new car – what in the world would I even consider looking at?

See, I love my car. My Acura RDX and I have a lot of history. It is a 2007 and we have shard over 160,000 miles of road travel together. We have been up and down this state for many softball tournaments, gymnastic meets, visiting my son in college and now where he works. I know that one day, I will need to get a new car, but right now, I am happy to put that purchase off. Did I say, I don’t like car shopping? I really don’t.

New Car

The pressure, the choices, the money – too much to think about!

When I got back home, I took my car straight to the auto repair shop. I needed my car to drive to Los Angeles two days later. My wallet and I were really hoping that it would be a quick and inexpensive fix. The loud knocking sounded ominous to me – I was afraid.

The phone call came a few hours after I dropped my car off at the shop. Hmm… apparently I had picked up a passenger somewhere along my travels. A granite rock had lodged itself somewhere it should not have been. They needed a few more hours to take a part some pieces and dig out the stowaway.

I was thrilled to know that my car and I would be able to safely drive down to Los Angeles for the BlogHer conference.


Do you enjoy car shopping?

Last spring I was with my mom and dad helping them choose a new car. My mom decided on a Subaru. A great car! But when it comes to car shopping there is a lot to consider. Since I had car shopping on the brain, I thought it would be helpful to talk with Brian from AutoTrader to cover the ins and outs of shopping for a car. One day I am going to need to get a new car.

What all should we be considering? What questions should we ask? While I think it is confusing – imagine buying your first car! My kids have reached that age.

There’s no better feeling than getting behind the wheel of your first, very own, brand-new car. It’s a rite of passage that’ll be remembered for years to come. However, just knowing where to begin can be daunting, especially for first time buyers.  It’s easy to get carried away by sporty models, expensive options and the desire to keep up with those around you, but given that buying a car is the first major financial purchase many people make, it’s important to know the facts and have a plan (not to mention a budget) before hitting the dealership, otherwise that dream car can quickly turn into something of a nightmare.

road trip

My conversation with Brian was really eye-opening. There are a many new bells and whistles since my last car purchase. Brian also talked about the really great deals that you can get from buying a certified used car and the total cost of car ownership that needs to be considered. Check it out:


AutoTrader’s Brian Moody Shares Do’s and Don’ts for Buying First Set of Wheels

Thank you to Kia for providing me with this interview opportunity.

You will never guess what my first car was…

VW orange Thing

Yep – it was an orange VW Thing complete with orange and black plaid interior. That is not a car you see everyday – not even back then!


(38) Comments

  1. These are such great tips! It always stresses me out to go car shopping! I just want to love my new car!

    1. Stacey says:

      That’s exactly how I feel!

  2. We also did a lot of driving this summer, and visited Glacier, too! It was beautiful!

  3. katrina says:

    our first car is something we always remember. great tips on how to buy a car!

  4. I’ve never really been car shopping, because I still have the same car that I drove in high school. I’ve had it for 15 years so far. I plan on getting a brand new car by the end of this year or early early next year!

    1. Stacey says:

      15 years is a good long run! Good luck choosing your next car – hopefully you will get 15 years with that one as well.

  5. I do like car shopping actually…of course maybe I just like car browsing since we haven’t purchased a new car in about 10 years. My first car was a loaded Toyota Camry – just 15 years old 🙂

    1. Stacey says:

      Toyotas are great cars! Maybe I could enjoy car browsing…. but then again maybe not. Lol!

  6. Amanda says:

    I am not a big car person but I am in love with my Ford Explorer. I just got home from what I thought was a long road trip until i read your post! Wow I am impressed!

    1. Stacey says:

      My good friend loves her Ford Explorer as well. I like hearing how people are happy with their cars. It gives me autos to think about.

  7. I’m glad your car is going to be fine! It’s tough to go car shopping especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. These are very good tips! Thanks for sharing that interview!

    1. Stacey says:

      Thanks! It is always important to do your homework. One day I will be shopping for a car. But glad it is not now.

  8. Those knocking sounds can really be scary. Glad they were able to fix your car. These are very helpful tips for first time buyers. Good luck on the conference.

    1. Stacey says:

      Yes- I was also so happy that they were able to fix my car quickly and at a minimal cost. The conference was excellent.

  9. I hate car shopping but you have shared some great suggestions to make the ordeal easier! My first car was a VW too, a bug!

    1. Stacey says:

      I love VW Bugs! I have had one of those as well.

  10. I’ve always found buying a car to be an exciting time. I love to do my research in advance so I get what I really want at the price that I am looking for.

    1. Stacey says:

      Love your attitude! Doing your homework is very important.

  11. Wow I have definitely not seen a car like this in a while. I have to say that I like the orange colour secretly. I love that you paired with Kia to give advice to first time buyers.

    1. Stacey says:

      Thanks Ana! My auto repair man says that Kias are one of the most dependable cars out there.

  12. I still need tips on buying a car! It doesn’t matter if it’s your 1st. I love his tips & I’ll pass them along.

    1. Stacey says:

      Kim, I totally agree! Whether buying your first or tenth – you always need to do your homework.

  13. Hubby is charge of car buying as he knows what to look for. I am just the designated navigator and snack carrier.

    1. Stacey says:

      Sounds like you to make a great team.

  14. My first car was a Camaro. I remember the car dealer saying it has too much power for a girl. True story. We bought from another dealer. LOL

    1. Stacey says:

      I am so glad that you got your Camaro and that you bought it from someone else! What a great first car.

  15. Looks like a you have figured out the secret sauce of car investments! A great read when you are considering to buy a car.

    1. Stacey says:


  16. I hate car shopping because I tend to afford the used ones more than new ones and it’s always scary no matter what.

    1. Stacey says:

      Oh – but buying used is the best way to get top value for your dollar!

  17. This is so helpful because car shopping is a total dreaded activity. From hours of at-home research to haggling… its never fun. This will be great to use for our next car purchase!

    1. Stacey says:

      You are right! It does start with hours of research! So much work into making a huge purchase.

  18. I am not a person who likes to car shop I will drive a car until it dies, gets revived and then dies again. I love your first car! Mine was a bright yellow Opal Cadet with black plastic interior. Not a good choice in the heat of Texas. I loved it though.

    1. Stacey says:

      I bright yellow car – I love it! Today it seems most cars are black or white. Guess the bright colors are a throw back to our earlier years.

  19. Susanne says:

    These are great tips for buying a car now matter how many you’ve bought. My first car was an orange VW Rabbit convertible. It was a standard and I thought I’d never learn to shift the greats smoothly. That car was a ton of fun though!

    1. Stacey says:

      Oh my – we are orange VW sisters! I had a red VW convertible rabbit – I LOVED that car!

  20. Glad you got your car fixed! I have a Highlander and it will be a sad day when we part company. My Husband loves cars and we actually enjoy car shopping to see what is out there. We do not enjoy buying as much since we disagree on what is important. We’ve made a pact – he gets to choose his cars (yes – he has a few), I get to choose mine.

    1. Stacey says:

      That’s a good pact! It will be a sad day when my Acura and I need to part ways as well.

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