Buying a car is something most people will do several times in their lives. It is a significant investment, so it shouldn’t be done lightly or on a whim. At the same time, purchasing a new vehicle doesn't have to be frightening or stressful. By establishing important car buying tips, you can avoid a lengthy shopping process and find a car with ease.
7 essential car buying tips to find your ideal purchase
Research the type of vehicle you want
First things first, you need to figure out what kind of car you're searching for. Sketch out what works for you - if you live out in the country, you're probably looking for something with good mileage and the ability to go off-road. At the same time, a daily commute in the city would likely go smoother with a family-friendly SUV or sedan.
You can also visit automaker and auto information websites to evaluate the features you desire in a vehicle.
Get pre-approved for a car loan
This is vital in determining how much you can actually afford to spend on your new vehicle. Once you know how much money you can allocate towards a car, you can focus on those within that price range and adjust the list of your must-have features accordingly.
Go to your bank, credit union, or a trusted online lender to start the pre-approval process. If you find that your credit is too low, consider holding off on getting a new vehicle until you build it up. That way, you can get pre-approved for a better loan in the future.
Find the best rates on your vehicle of interest
Research several dealerships, from local to out-of-town. Sometimes you’ll find good rates from dealerships beyond your area. Also, consider the time of year.
Car dealerships usually have big sales events around the spring, fall, and end of the year. That’s also when a lot of leased car terms expire and are returned. This is a good option if you want a certified pre-owned vehicle.
Determine the true cost of your vehicle
The price for the vehicle alone is not the true cost of it. You also have to consider gas, insurance, repairs, maintenance, and anything else you’ll need to run the vehicle through the years.
Consider a general overview of costs for running the vehicle in your area - gas prices vary between states. You can also get an auto insurance quote on the vehicles you’re interested in purchasing.
Negotiate properly with dealerships
With good car buying tips and thorough research of how much you can put towards a new vehicle, negotiating will be easier. If you have a trade-in, negotiate the price of your new vehicle and the value of your trade-in vehicle separately.
Be sure to understand the average selling rate for your new vehicle and trade-in vehicle, so you know whether you’re being offered a fair price.
Test drive thoroughly
Don’t be afraid to spend some time in this area. You want to make sure the vehicle is right for you and will stick with you for the long haul. If you have to ask for more time, do so.
Evaluate the vehicle while parked, adjust the seats, test the controls and get in the passenger seats to see how comfortable they are. Consider where you can store your cargo in the vehicle, take note of your visibility through the mirrors, and check out any and all other features.
Visit a mechanic to evaluate your vehicle of interest
This is important if you’re buying a used vehicle. Have a mechanic look it over to spot any unusual wear and tear or areas that could become potential issues. Do this before you make the purchase final. It will save you money in the long run.
Bonus tip: Find a great dealership
Once you have these car buying tips down, locate quality dealerships that offer a variety of popular and reliable vehicles, like Mike Duman Auto Superstore. In business for over 40 years, we’ve helped customers with all credit types find new and used vehicles that fit their lifestyles, needs and preferences. And if you have a vehicle that needs a full evaluation, our factory-trained technicians are available to help.