Buying a new car should be a thrilling experience. Who doesn’t like the new car smell, the feel of clean seats, and the sound of a brand new engine? If you’re interested in buying a new car, don’t sign the dotted line just yet. Here is your guide to buying the vehicle of your dreams.
Sell Your Old Car
You don’t need that old clunker in your driveway anymore, so sell it and make some extra cash. You can sell it privately or find a company that will buy cars and give you a fair price so you can get it off your hands. You can also sell your old car to a dealership, but they will probably offer a lower price.
Choose a Car
You may already have the car of your dreams picked out, but you should have a realistic perspective of what you really need and what you can afford. Consider the cargo capacity you need, how many passengers you want to be able to carry, whether you need all wheel drive, how many miles you expect to drive and the weather you’ll drive in. Also factor in fuel efficiency and gas emissions if this is important to you.
Check Your Credit History
Check your credit history before you budget in order to determine what loan you can expect and if you can afford the monthly payment. Most people need a car loan in order to afford a new car. Get a credit report to see if you’ll appeal to lenders who will give you a fair deal with the lowest interest rate possible. Don’t go in empty handed; you can get a free copy of your credit report once a year from each Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. After obtaining both your credit report and credit score, you can have a more realistic perspective of what you can afford.
Stick to a Budget
Once you know which loan you can afford, you can create a budget based around that loan. Plan your monthly budget around your payment so you don’t break the bank. Have a solid price in mind when you visit the dealership and don’t let a car salesman sell you a vehicle at an unfair price.
Get Quotes From Other Dealers
Before you buy, shop the dealerships. Most dealerships now have an online resource where you can check out the car you’re interested in at a price you can afford. Provide your contact information and have a salesman reach out to you so you can negotiate online before even stepping foot into the dealership. These quotes online will save you a lot of time and trouble. Dealers know that they face steep competition from other stores, so go in confident that you can negotiate a lower but fair price.
Choose Between Purchasing or Leasing
For some, the most difficult decision comes down to whether you should lease or buy a car. The only answer is, it depends. Leasing is a great short-term option because it’s generally cheaper; it usually requires little to no money down, which will save you the pricey monthly payments. If you like driving new cars but don’t want the hefty price, a lease may be for you. The main drawback to a lease however is the mileage. During a lease you agree to not drive over a certain mileage or else you’ll fall victim to penalties. If you plan on driving far distances a lot, this isn’t the best choice.
Buying a car is more expensive but you have more freedom to do what you want with it. After you purchase a car you can customize it how you like and run up as many miles as you desire. Buying a car is a better long-term option. If you can’t afford a brand new car, consider buying a gently used car; they’re usually significantly cheaper and come with low mileage.
Follow these tips and you’ll find yourself with your ideal car in no time.