Over 13 million vehicles were sold in the U.S last year, which shows how many of us know how to make a great purchase.
Understanding the ins and outs of buying a vehicle increases your chances of landing a great deal and preventing issues further down the line. But, if you don’t often buy cars, knowing what to do can feel overwhelming. Perhaps that’s why you’re here; you’re set on buying a car and are searching for advice.
Sounds like you? No worries, we’ve got you! Here are eight points to consider before buying a new car.
1. Set a Realistic Budget
Whether you’re buying a new or used car, it’s important to have a realistic budget. Sure, we’d all love the latest Ferrari but does that align with your finances?
Aside from the upfront costs, factor in the running costs so you have an idea of how much fuel will cost weekly and if it affects your insurance rate. If you are seeking car finance, make sure that you can afford to pay it back monthly. Note, it’s wise to get pre-approved for a loan before your search to avoid disappointment.
Another way to slash costs is by trading in your current car. Whether you’re selling privately or via a dealership, you can use this cash towards your new vehicle, making it a win-win.
2. List Your Must-Haves
Before you buy a new car, make sure you consider its purpose, whether it’s for the school run or to go on long commutes. You should also factor in how much space you need and whether it’s easy to park.
If you’re stumped, list your must-haves. For instance, it could be a car that is fuel efficient or one that has an easy-to-fold rear seat so you can maximize the trunk’s space. And don’t forget any essential features, such as a sat-nav or parking sensors for nervous drivers.
You should also consider models that hold their value, especially if you’re planning to sell in the future. For instance, Mini Coopers, Audis, and Volkswagen rank highly for this, which explains their global popularity.
3. Research, Research, Research
Don’t make the rookie mistake of buying a new car with zero research. If you’ve found your dream model but it’s expensive, search for similar vehicles on the market because there could be cheaper options. It’s also important to read press and customer reviews to see if others in your position would recommend it.
Another trick is to compare prices for different variants such as three or five-door models as this can impact the price.
4. Find the Right Dealership
Spend time finding the right car dealership because it can make or break your deal. You should ask everyone you know for recommendations, whether it’s your co-worker who has recently bought a car or a family member. You should also read reviews on third-party sites and avoid dealerships that have received consistently bad comments because that’s a major red flag.
5. Buy at the Right Time
Many buyers don’t realize that when they purchase a car influences the price. Note, car salesmen have targets to meet based on quarterly sales, which is at the end of March. Because of this, you should buy in June, September, or December to grab the best deals.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid weekends or right after payday because it’s harder to bargain. Also, consider the season. For instance, buyers flock to buy convertibles in the summer which hikes up the price. This means you can save a fortune by purchasing one in the winter.
6. Ask Questions
Once you’ve found a reliable dealership, be prepared with questions. You should ask about similar model types and if a GM extended warranty is included in the price.
It’s also important to ask about whether the vehicle has add-ons like free recovery for peace of mind. But make sure that you’re not pressured by the dealer’s sales tactics. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is and you should continue your search.
7. Check the Car’s Documentation
Regardless of whether you’re buying a new or used car, the vehicle should have documentation. At the very least, the dealership should hand over the V5C registration or logbook because it’s compulsory when selling a car. You should also figure out which insurance policy to choose and buy it before driving off the lot.
If you’re happy, it’s time to arrange a test drive. Be mindful of how you feel when you’re driving and take the car on different road types to see how it runs.
Not sure whether you liked it? Then, ask the dealership whether you could try a similar model as a comparison.
The key to securing the best deal is haggling. It’s important to note, some dealers will happily negotiate while others won’t, so reach out to other dealerships for an average price. Although it feels intimidating, you’ll never know whether you can get a better deal unless you try.
If you get a bad feeling about it, walk out of the dealership because buying a car should be exciting and not drain you of happiness.
Tips for Buying a New Car
Hopefully, you’re confident about buying a new car and trading in your old one.
There are many factors to consider, such as setting a realistic budget and making a list of your must-haves. Buyers should also find the perfect time to buy and always negotiate because they may land the best deal. Good luck!
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