Car shopping is something that some people love and some people dread. The best way to ensure that the process is something you can enjoy is to arm yourself with information well in advance of setting foot into a dealership. By using the information that follows, you will have what you need to do just that.
Bring a friend on your shopping trip. This individual can be another pair of eyes and ears, and they just might save you from a bad deal by nudging you to walk away when you should. They can be anyone from your Mom to a coworker.
Make plans to spend a lot of time in car dealerships. You don’t want to feel like you’re rushed and commit to a deal you’re not comfortable with. Plan on spending a whole afternoon in one dealership. If you don’t have that much time, simply plan to return if need be.
Consider selling your car privately, rather than trading it in for the new car you want. You will almost always get more for your car through a private sale than you would through a trade in. Even if the dealership makes it sound like they are giving you a great trade in value, they will likely raise the price somewhere else to make up for the difference.
Have a budget in mind before you go car shopping. This involves assessing your monthly income and bills, and having a clear understanding of how much you can really afford to add to those. Doing this will help you to stay in budget when you make your new car purchase.
Do not limit your choices to just a dealership. You might be shocked to discover that the car you want is available on a smaller lot, or even from an individual private owner. Tap into social media sites and classifieds in your local area for a more targeted search for the ideal car at the best price for your needs.
If the price of a car is non-negotiable, see if you can negotiate on other terms. Some dealerships will agree to provide several months’ worth of free gasoline or a year of free oil changes, for instance. It never hurts to ask if a salesman can sweeten the deal.
If you are trading your car in, take it to a detail shop and have the upholstery and carpets cleaned along with a wash and wax. Doing this one thing can usually net you several hundred dollars or more in trade-in value compared to a car that isn’t clean.
Make sure to take your time. Even if you are really excited about buying a car, don’t run out and buy it on the same day. Make sure that you have taken the time to do research on safety, repairs and other factors before doing something you might end up regretting.
Form a budget prior to heading out and looking at a car. This will allow you to know how much of a payment you can afford. Think about what would be an affordable monthly payment. Before looking at cars, you may want to shop around for a loan.
Know how much you can spend before stepping foot on a car lot. This price should reflect the amount that you would not mind paying and also what the fair price is on the market for that particular make and model.
Whenever buying a certified pre-owned vehicle, try and find out what the return policy is, or even if one exists. If one does, make sure you understand how long it is and whether or not you will get registration and licence fees refunded along with sales tax for the vehicle.
Avoid signing as-is warranties when you buy a used vehicle. Doing so is a recipe for disaster. There should at least be a warranty for 30-90 days when purchasing a used car. It is important to get this in the event of an accident in the months following your purchase.
Make sure you know what you are signing. Later on, you may be hit with fees you weren’t expecting, but were spelled out in the contract. By the time you start signing papers you are ready to be out on the road, but take the time to read the paperwork that you are signing before you leave.
Never give your trade-in’s keys to the dealer before you’ve come to an agreement. The dealer could take your keys (and thus, your car) hostage and manipulate you into an unfair deal. Always hold on to your keys and if the dealer wants to take a look inside the car, open it up for them while you hold the keys.
Never buy a car without test driving it first. That even includes brand new cars and trucks. Not only do you want to make sure the car is mechanically sound, you also want to see how the car fits you. Decide if the car “feels” right. Some cars are not designed for taller people, for instance.
Calculate the yearly mileage you will be driving. This will help you decide if you should lease a vehicle or purchase a vehicle outright. If you normally drive less than 1,000 miles a month, you should consider a lease. A leased car generally has lower payments than a car purchased outright.
Be wary of financing if you plan to get another car soon. If you want to get a car without putting any money down, and plan to get a new car in a year or two, you’re setting yourself up to carry balances from car to car. You’ll end up paying more than the car is worth.
There is no need for car shopping to be a dreaded part of your life every so often. By taking the time to acquire a bit of knowledge about what to expect, it is possible to have a good experience when you purchase your next vehicle. By revisiting the facts above whenever necessary, you can have confidence in your ability to get the vehicle you truly desire.