Buying a car, whether used or new, can be a stressful experience. It’s a heavy investment and you need to know what you want and how to get the best deal, all while avoiding the common traps laid down by car salespeople.
Ultimately, you need to be as informed as possible before making such a big purchase. So, with that in mind, here are 5 things you need to think about …
1) Think About Your Financing First
You shouldn’t begin looking for a car until you are familiar with your financial situation and have decided on a rough budget at the least. If you go in blind, you risk overspending or wasting your time viewing cars you can’t afford.
Of course, financing is also a common option, but that too needs to be well planned ahead of time. How much can you pay up-front, if any? How much can you afford to pay towards a loan each month? And, what type of financing is even available to you?
At this stage, it is a good idea to check your credit report and shop around to see the kind of rates you might be offered. In Florida, for example, those who can’t get a regular loan might seek out a payday loan online.
2) Consider What Car You Want
It’s also a good idea to consider what kind of car you want before you begin formally looking. Turning up at a dealership without doing this could result in you leaving with an overpriced car that doesn’t suit you and your family’s needs.
How many seats do you need? What about trunk space? Does the power of the car matter to you, and hw much does it guzzle in fuel? All of these are questions you should consider early on.
Fortunately, the internet now makes finding the best car for you easy. List articles, forums, and the big car sites can all give you valuable insight. In the end, it may simply be the look of a certain model that grabs your attention.
When buying a car, you want to get the best value for money, and that means taking in to account its expected lifespan. If a car breaks down a year after purchasing, was it really worth it?
This is where you’ll need to find the happy medium between an older car of higher status and a newer car that isn’t as appealing. The newer one will likely last longer, but when out on the road you might still prefer to be seen in the older car.
To make an informed decision you can check a car’s repair records. You might even request a mechanic inspection before making the purchase.
4) Compare Prices
Once you have an idea of the type of car you want, it is then important to compare prices between different makes and models, but also individual cars as well.
Even with all variables, the same, cars are priced differently by different dealerships and sellers (especially if they are used), though they’ll usually fall within a range. Either way, comparing prices is just the smart way to find the best deal.
Some dealers will also have rebate offers and other perks to sweeten the deal, so be sure to take these in to account as well.
A good place to start is online, before moving on to local trade magazines and classified, and dealerships themselves.
The good thing about buying cars is that sellers are always willing to negotiate a price within reason. However, you obviously need to be informed before you can negotiate properly.
5) Always Test Drive
Even if the car looks perfect and has everything you need on paper, you’ll only truly know if it’s right for you by giving it a test drive. You might even notice problems you weren’t made aware of, such as steering and brake issues, uncomfortable seating, or even just an obscure rattle that could turn in to a problem later.
Ultimately, you’re going to spending a lot of money on something you’ll be spending a lot of time in. Don’t leave that to chance!
Buying a car can be an overwhelming experience, but with a bit of research and preparation as outlined above, everything will go smoothly.