Buying a car is an exciting and important step in adulthood. If this is your first time doing so, chances are you’re not quite up to speed on how to get the best deal.
Worried about getting scammed or just want some tips for this milestone purchase? We’ve got you covered!
First off, there should be no such thing as impulse car buying. You might get excited about the color of the upholstery, the make, or the way a car sounds. However, actually paying a load of money for anything requires that you know what you’re doing. Any car dealer is likely to inflate prices when they see a customer for the first time. Come back two or even three times, and they’ll hopefully recognize you as a discerning customer.
Time your visit to avoid the peak times. The weekdays are best for this, as salespeople are less busy. You hence have a higher chance of getting a good deal.
No matter whether you’re buying a brand new car or a used one, a test drive is a must. Use the car like your own, meaning no overly gentle hands! Take some difficult turns, try out parallel parking, and check the cruise control. Turn on the radio, play some CDs if possible, and feel free to recline the seats as well.
In fact, try out each and every lever plus any features you can think of. This will ensure you know just what you’re paying for. Used cars are especially prone to several flaws and dings. However, new cars need testing just as much.
You may be surprised at what the internet can guide people about. Go online, visit discussion forums, and find out user ratings for used car dealers or new ones as well. Car purchasers discuss inside scoops, tips, tricks, and many other useful facts that can turn your purchasing power around.
For instance, the car that seems perfect now might turn out to be the one that requires the most repairs after a few months. People who have already gone through such tragedies are more than willing to share their grief and expertise online. You can also look for adriving guide to brush up on your test driving sessions.
You can also use the internet to determine whether your dream model has faced any recalls, or if it can handle the snow and sleet in your area.
Before you visit any dealers, list down what you’re looking for. These could be factors like fuel efficiency, pricing, etc. Set your priorities and decide how much wiggle room you can have, if any. This will help you greatly in narrowing the search and save time to boot.
You should also assess your needs for transportation. If you’re going to use the car daily, a convertible isn’t the best idea. If you have a family with all sorts of transport needs, prefer a bigger car.
In the end, it all comes down to whether you can afford the best car for your needs or not. What can you easily, or possibly, pay each month? Will you have to live hand to mouth for a few months after purchasing or until the car is paid off?
For a new car, it’s best to put down one-fifth of the payment right away. If possible, the rest of the payments should spread out among 48 months. If the down payment or monthly payments are out of your reach, a used car would be better.
You’ll also have to budget for repairs, maintenance, gas, and several unforeseen costs. Make sure you’re up for all that. It might seem overwhelming, but doing the calculations now will help you worry less in the future.