Any normal person would want a new car. But nobody wants to go through the drudgery of the car-buying process. You’d have to look at hundreds of models, and dealing with overbearing car salesmen can push even the best among us to their limit. So it’s not exactly surprising why motorists go to great lengths to keep their vehicles in top condition.
However, cars don’t last forever, and you’ll have to eventually buy a replacement, whether at a car showroom or a used car dealer franchise. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of essential car-buying tips you might find handy.
Investigate and verify
The best way to prepare yourself before buying a car is to ensure you know more than the car salesman. One common mistake that rookies make is going to a car lot without doing any research about the type of car they want to buy. And with websites like Consumer Reports and Edmunds, there’s no excuse for ignorance.
If you’re thinking of buying a brand-new model, see if you can find the invoice price of the vehicle and not the suggested retail price. The invoice price is what the seller paid for the car. The goal is to arm yourself with figures to ensure the price negotiations aren’t one-sided.
When looking at used cars, you might want to check the resale prices for the same model in a similar condition. Again, the more data you possess, the more power you’ll have at the negotiation table.
Check your options
Unless you know what you want to get and where to get it, always shop around before deciding on a model. Don’t buy a car from the first showroom you visit. Make it a point to leave the dealership so they’ll be forced to give you their last price.
If you live near a state line, you also might want to check out out-of-state sellers. You might save more if a neighboring state has lower taxes. Rural dealerships are often cheaper than their urban counterparts as well.
Don’t go overboard
Unless money isn’t a problem, do not buy a new vehicle before your current one has been paid off. And maybe even hold off on buying until you’re sure that you need a new one. The last thing you need is to be saddled with two car loans.
One popular strategy is to pretend you’re still making payments on your current car, even if it’s been fully paid off. Save the car payments in a bank account, while still driving your current vehicle. Once you want to buy a new one, you’ll have seed money for your down payment.
For example, if you set aside $500 a month for a year, you’ll have $6000 to use for your next car. Just make sure that you’re not using your emergency funds to pay for a brand-new vehicle.
Cars are a significant investment, and you want to make sure that you get the best deal. By doing your research and preparing yourself for negotiations, you’ll be in a better position to get a better price on the car you want.