Does your car have a name?
If it does, you are not alone. One out of every four people name their car.
Humans often become very attached to the car that takes them through life. The decision to purchase a new car is a big one and can be overwhelming.
Maybe you realized it was finally time to ditch your old clunker. Or perhaps your car was totaled in an accident.
Whatever the circumstances, buying a car is a big deal. After all, chances are you’ll have this car for many years to come.
Buying a car shouldn’t be stressful. In fact, it should be a fun and exciting experience. Who doesn’t love shopping for something new?
Being prepared and knowing what to expect when you get to the dealer will go a long way towards making your experience a great one. Keep reading for 3 of our top car shopping tips to help you choose the car of your dreams.
1. Do Some Research
The number one thing you can do to be prepared when visiting the car dealer is to do some research ahead of time. This will give you an idea of what you can afford and what makes and models fall into your price range.
The internet is a great resource for this and you can learn just about everything there is to know about any vehicle.
Doing this research in advance will give you a better idea of what you are looking for and will help the car salesman narrow down your options when you get to the dealership. Going in with no idea what you are looking for is never a good idea.
If you are planning to purchase a new car, do some research on the invoice price of the car. This is what the dealer paid the manufacturer paid for the car.
If you are going with a used car, look up the recent resale prices for the makes and models you are interested in.
Finally, if you are trading in your old car, find out what it’s worth.
2. Evaluate Your Finances
Before you even start looking at cars you should evaluate your financial situation.
Make a budget if you don’t already use one and determine what down payment and monthly payment you can afford.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin. Emergencies happen and you don’t want to choose a monthly payment that is too high where you have to worry about being able to make the payment.
Don’t spend your entire savings on the down payment either. If you choose a car you can afford, you will be more comfortable in the long run.
Don’t forget about insurance rates. When you research the types of cars you are interested in before you visit the dealer, you can also look up quotes to determine approximate insurance rates for the cars that interest you.
It’s better to be informed about what to expect when it comes to insurance than to be surprised by a high premium after you have already purchased a car.
3. Choosing the Car
This goes without saying, but never purchase a car on impulse.
Not only could you later realize that you can’t afford the car, but you could also find that the car doesn’t perform the way you want.
Always, always test drive any cars you are interested in. Most people will do this, but some won’t.
Test driving a car goes beyond ensuring it is in good condition and performs well. Test driving allows you and your family to experience driving and riding in the vehicle and ensure you fit comfortably inside.
If you have kids, make sure they come along for the test drive. Their comfort is important too.
When you test drive the car, you should be looking for a few things besides comfort:
- Make sure the car runs smoothly and quietly
- Ensure you can see out of each mirror and you can easily view all dashboard gauges
- Check the accelerator and the brakes as well as how the car handles. These vary in sensitivity by car make and model and you want to make sure you choose one that fits your individual preferences
- Check the controls in the car. Make sure that everything works and that the controls are easy for you to use. Some people have trouble using basic controls in certain cars due to the size of their fingers
If you are planning to purchase a used car, make sure it is evaluated by a mechanic before signing the purchase agreement. A mechanic will be able to tell you if there is any unusual wear and tear on the vehicle or if there is anything that appears concerning or wrong with the car.
If there are mechanical problems or maintenance issues found by the mechanic, this could determine whether or not you buy the car.
More Car Shopping Tips
These are just a few of our top car shopping tips. Buying a car, whether new or used, is a major purchase.
The more time and effort you put into preparing in advance of making your purchase, the more satisfied you will be long term. You don’t want to end up upside down on your car loan.
These days, car dealerships offer competitive financing and pricing. If you are considering purchasing a car, contact us today for more information.
We can help you navigate the car buying process and get you into a car that works for your lifestyle.