Personally, I know for certain if you do exactly the opposite of everything I have done, you'll be a hit. I never learned auto mechanics which was my first huge bungle in the jungle.
But, always buy used, preferably cheap, and then fix your babe up 4ever. Tesla is coming out with an all-electric model for 36,000 bucks. I'd love to buy one used someday, in excellent condition, maintain it exquisitely, and fix everything I can applying all the knowledge I gain from here and mechanics and books.
For example. I figure if I make payments (whether leasing or buying) of $350.00 a month for 120 months, or roughly $40,000.00 in ten years, I could lease/own and return/sell several nice cars. Certainly, I have nothing to use for transportation even though I paid 40 grand in ten years on cars (after tax dollars, unless it can be a business deduction.)
Or, I can take the same amount of dough, buy a very well made, very fuel efficient, used car and maintain the Heck out of it. If I pay $1,000 or so every year for 20 years to keep her running in good shape, that leaves $20,000 to buy the car outright to equal the amount I spent in the other scenario but, I've used it twice as long and she's mine.
Years ago, PM ran a story something like the top ten things car owners could do to their cars to extend their service life dramatically. Replacing a rusted out muffler and pipes with a stainless steel exhaust system was one. Stainless-steel braided brake lines, another.
This much I do know and any boob can figure it out quite easily. The major car companies will never, ever, not once, not ever never ever, propose any kind of plan for us (like leasing from them instead of buying) to pay them to use one of their cars wherein they will make less money off of us than they possibly can. Ideally, they would prefer everyone lease their cars to keep us making monthly payments to them forever and ever. Won't, hasn't, can't, shant happen, no matter what they say or do. Figures never lie, but liars often figure. Like buying insurance that covers the first 36 months on your new computer.