Plan a Budget
When thinking about purchasing a new vehicle, you need to have a budget in mind. How much do you want to spend? The question is so simple, but it’s key to guiding yourself through the process of searching for a new car. We recommend in general looking for a used car instead of brand new, because who really needs more debt? However if you’re in a financial situation where you can afford a new car, then do what seems right for you. All in all, it’s better off to choose the safest financial route and least impacting budget expense for you new car needs. Take some time to sit down and go through your finances, plan out what you expect to spend, and how that will impact your already regular expenses. Whether or not the car is used, a new car is an investment. Anything that takes serious financial consideration, and provides a large financial dependency such as repairs, maintenance, and other travel needs (gas, cleaning, etc.) is definitely an investment. You want to make sure you can afford everything that comes with a new car and get the most out of your new or used vehicle before moving into making that purchase.
Have What You Want In Mind
Are you a mom with four kids who needs a lot of space and safety? Are you gas-conscious and looking to conserve? Are you tired of what you have and looking for a change? The idea is to know what you want ahead of time so that the car salesman can’t make up your mind for you. Lead them in the direction you’re looking to go toward, not what they want to sell you. If you know what’s best for you, the next step is to do research! Before you even set foot at the dealership, get some cars in mind. Go online, browse some different websites dealers post to, and look at reviews of different vehicles. Narrow your search down to specific, realistic cars out that that match your interests. It’s easier to go to a dealership with a few cars already picked out instead of going there with a vague idea of what you want and then end up having the salesman lead you into something completely different. Be smart and do some research!
Test Drive Your Dream Car
So let’s say you planned your budget, found that right car for you, and you made it to the dealership and it’s practically everything you want. What now? Well, before sitting down to talk about making a deal, let’s take that car out for a spin. Tests drive your ideal car before you even consider talking about a deal. Give yourself a chance to think about it, get the feel for the way it runs, and if it really is what you’re looking for when put into practice. Try to keep your ear open for any noises you might hear when driving around in case there’s something other than the sweet sound of that purring on the road. You want to be sure this fits you before considering it further.
Consider a Vehicle Inspection
A great way to really be sure this is the right car for you is to have someone who knows what they’re doing take a good look around the whole vehicle. Most auto shops will do a used car inspection for you at a decent price. It’s better to pay maybe $60.00 and save yourself thousands if you end up finding out from the inspection you will have to make tons of repairs on the vehicle than invest in something that will not end up being worth what you put into it. A used car inspection can also be a great bargaining chip to bring down the cost when you sit down to close the deal, that is, if you decide to buy a used vehicle.
It tends to be a trend that people do not like to negotiate. Most people, if possible, will do whatever they can to avoid a stressful situation even if it means saving them money. Don’t be that person! Be the educated buyer who can negotiate on the side of facts. Look up the minimum market value for the car you’re interested in, do as much research as possible on the specific vehicle, get a used car inspection if you’re going that route, and take your time on making a decision. Explain to the salesman when talking about prices what you would want to pay for it, and share with them based upon your research why you think it’s worth that price. Be reasonable in your expectations and don’t try to shoot for too low. Most dealerships will market cars for the minimum market price and if they’re a good salesman, they will want to work with you to figure out the best way possible to close this deal. Just like you, they’re a person and can understand what you’re looking for based upon reasonable facts. If you present your case in an understandable, educated way—you’re likely to save a few hundred bucks when summing up those last few details.