PEMCO Insurance: Tips for buying your first ‘grownup’ car

SEATTLE - Buying your first ‘grownup’ car is a rite of passage, but in hindsight, some people wish they could get a do-over.

Experts at PEMCO Insurance are sharing some advice about what to know before stepping foot on a car lot.

“Make sure you do your research, that means check online reviews, talk with your friends, talk with your family, check consumer reports online,” PEMCO Communications Specialist Siena Proswimmer said.

“Another one is check with your insurance company. There are a lot of cars that are prone to theft, and those make your insurance rate go up, so definitely check with your current provider before you go out and buy a car.”

Another piece of advice: do not buy something too costly.  Lots of people who are just starting out still have big student debt to consider, so making sure payments are affordable is crucial.

“The rule of thumb is you don’t want to be spending more than 15% of your monthly income on a car payment,” Proswimmer said.

“Some would even say 10% so definitely make sure how much your monthly car payment would be before you buy a car.”


When it comes to affordability, PEMCO has several suggestions:

-Don’t count out leases

-Consider late-model or used cars

-Get pre-approved financing from the bank

-Add gap insurance

-Look at Carfax report

-Have an independent mechanic inspect the car