Important Things to Consider Before Buying a Car

Posted in July 23rd, 2016
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Photo by Pixabay, CC0 1.0
Buying a car should be a happy time in your life, but lack of knowledge about the steps involved can create a headache. It is very important for buyers to be aware of the process. A lack of information can lead to a poor decision. That poor decision can lead to years of issues.

It is very easy to get dazzled by the salesperson. They will show you all the brand new cars with fancy features, whether or not it is within your budget. Buying a car is a huge purchase and it is important not to let your guard down. Here are some steps to understand before to sign on the dotted line.

  1. Know What You Want: The salesman may try to sell you on something totally different than your intentions. You should know exactly what you want and need so you aren’t swayed. Think about what is functional for your family. Here are some questions to consider.
    • Do you have children? If so, make sure there is enough seating.
    • Does it get great gas mileage? This is important for commuting.
    • Is there enough leg room? Tall people understand the difficulties in finding enough space for legs.
    • Is the trunk large enough? Think about what you haul around frequently.
  2. Stick to Your Budget: It is so easy to be swayed up a few thousand dollars from your target price. Stick to your budget. A few thousand dollars extra can lead to more time it takes to pay off the loan. Auto loans have interest included; don’t forget to factor that into your budget.
    • Before you get to the dealership, look online so you understand what type of cars you can afford. It stops the frustration once there in person.
    • Get prequalified for an auto loan.
    • Know what the insurance rates will be so you can factor them into your budget.
  3. Know Your Credit Score: If you are planning to finance the car, a great credit score can get you a lower interest rate. A lower interest rate means a lower car payment. The opposite happens if your credit score is too low; banks consider you a risk investment. There are ways to fix your credit score. If it is low, consider waiting so you can increase the number and get a lower interest rate.
  4. Bring Ads With You: Dealerships can be sneaky at times. They may quote lower prices on the ads to bring people in. If they think you don’t know the advertised price, they may quote you higher. Before you enter any dealership, grab a few local newspapers. Also, check online because sometimes they run deals or specials on social media that will not be advertised.
  5. Read Reviews: If there is a certain vehicle you like, read online the reviews from buyers. Narrowing down your search makes the search on the car lot much easier. Reviews from experts can help you find vehicles with the best features. Reviews from buyers can let you know what they think of the vehicle after purchase.
  6. Know Your Trade In Value: Before you purchase a new vehicle, check the current trade in value of your vehicle now. Websites like Kelly Blue Book can give you estimated values.
    • If you have auto loans that aren’t paid off, check the remaining balance. This means you will start off with a deficit. It may let you know you have to wait a bit longer so a new to you vehicle is affordable.
  7. Take a Test Drive: Always take a test drive before purchasing a vehicle. This can be the most important thing you do. A car may have all the perfect reviews and look wonderful, but you could dislike how it drives. A shorter route isn’t the better route. A long drive will help you understand the feel of the car.
    • If the car is used, asked for a mechanical inspection. Also, demand a Carfax report if they aren’t offered.

Lastly, remember that you can walk away. Don’t settle for a vehicle that you don’t love. There are so many options available; you will find the right one.