Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy a New Car
It’s that time of the year again! The sun is out and birds are finally singing. There’s the distinct smell of fresh opportunity in the air! Anything is possible, it seems, in these short, sweet months before the inevitable change of seasons. It’s about more than just good weather, however. Summer deals are on the horizon and quite a few folks are seriously considering trading in their current set of wheels for an upgrade. It’s a great time to find stellar sales since so many dealerships are cutting prices to help thin their inventory. But, where do you begin? And how do you make the most of these prices? Is there a code of conduct to follow? We’ll answer this question and many more today on Motorful.
Buying a new car can seem like a huge deal, and it is. There is a lot on the line when it comes to purchasing automobiles of any type. Not only is this a huge investment, but you also want to make sure it’s the right one. You spend so much time in your car, after all. Whether you’re commuting to or from work, running errands, or simply driving for fun, you want to be comfortable. Finding a new vehicle can be tough. There are so many to choose from, and it seems like there’s so little time to do it in. Most people already know what make they’re looking for as most are pretty loyal to their favorite brand. The model is a different story! And what if you don’t have a favorite manufacturer?! Things can get pretty complicated, pretty quickly.
Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that can keep you in the know, and in control. We’re focusing on the whole process, and what to do from step one to ensure your success. Peppered throughout will be interesting tidbits on what you should know about each process! Don’t let the big price tags and shiny salesmen fool you. There is an artform to dealing with dealerships that is crucial for everybody to learn at some point. Not having a solid understanding of the rules in this game can financially speaking put you back quite a bit. Everybody wants to save a buck, and a car dealership is actually the perfect place to do this. You just need to figure out how! So, buckle in and get ready to discover everything you need to know before you buy a new car
Where Should I Go?
It is thoroughly suggested that you shop around quite a bit. There’s no reason that you have to buy a car, or even do a test drive, when you show up to a dealership. They will try and strongarm you into a vehicle if they can, so remember to stand firm. Remember: YOU are the customer, and they should be catering to you. If they really want to help you, then they can get you a coffee. It sounds harsh, but you have to be firm, and even a little rude, to get your point across. There are a lot of people who end up getting pushed around by sales people by no fault of their own. It’s a sales job, after all, and they need to make a living. But so do you. So, shop around, and don’t let anybody push you into anything.
The specific dealership you go to is entirely your choice. There are a few good places to look for advice, however. Ask around! Family and friends are a great resource for trusted dealerships, and might be able to point you in the right direction. Some of them might even be able to get a cash bonus for referring you. It’s always nice to be able to help somebody out if you’re buying a new car. They might as well get the bonus if that’s the dealership you end up at! Just something to keep in mind.
Get Your Credit Checked
Before anything you should look at your credit score. This scary, life defining number is the key to better deals, and lower APR. When you have a high enough credit score you’ll find that a bunch of doors start opening up. Unfortunately if you have a bad credit score you should really rethink buying a new car. Even with sizzling summer sales you’ll probably find the loan fairly cost prohibitive… if you can even get a loan in the first place. Most people like to work on their credit in the year leading up to them buying a new car. Thinking ahead like this, and making sure you’re ready in advance, are two keys to getting the best deal for you at the best time for you. Don’t be afraid to put off buying a new car until your credit is better, and you can afford it.
Stay On Top Of Organization
Make a list of all the vehicles you’re interested in. This will become a handy little go-to guide that’ll see you through the selection process. You’ll be able to look back at prices, as well as other little details about each vehicle you like. Make sure to jot down the important aspects, such as the financing options and the MSRP. You’ll want to look up what the car is truly worth using a reputable place like Kelly Blue Book, or Edmunds. Making sure you have this information will give you the confidence and knowledge you need to haggle that price down. When you’ve managed to narrow it down to two or three vehicles then it’s time to start test driving.
Take It For A Spin
Once you’ve shopped around, and narrowed down your options, the fun really begins. This is an essential step that you really can’t skip. You’re ready to step into the driver’s seat and find your perfect fit. This is where sales people can get more aggressive, and push for the sale. Make sure to make it clear to them that you aren’t buying yet, and the more pushy they are the less you want to buy. You want to keep that ball in your court until it’s the right time to send it over. Drive the vehicle in as many places as you can. Your daily commute is a great start. Some dealerships will let you take the car for a day so you can see how it does on your commute. This will give you a great sense of how much you enjoy driving it, and how well it suits your needs.
If you can’t take the car for a full day then no worries! Take it out for the hour or two they offer, and try to get to both the city and the highway. You can substitute the city for any large town nearby. Depending on where you live there may not a be a city you drive in daily! That’s fine. You’re really testing for driveability in everyday situations you’ll encounter on a regular basis.
Figure Out Financing
We mentioned earlier that it’s a good idea to really think ahead. Like, up to a year ahead. That seems like a long time, but it gives you more wiggle room when you walk in. Improving your credit is a big step, but you also need to think about how you’re going to finance this purchase. It’s never a bad idea to have a large down payment in order to lessen the overall cost. If you’re like most people then you won’t be paying for this vehicle up front, after all. This means you’ll need a loan. The rate you receive will be entirely dependent on your credit as well as a few other factors including income. You will be paying interest on this loan, so the more you put down upfront the less interest you’re looking at. Getting pre-approved is also a good idea since it’ll give you an idea of what is going to be available to you.
Spend Less, Not More
Have you experienced the phenomena known as “sticker shock”? Daunting prices can scare away even the most financially prepared consumer. Luckily those sticker prices are not what you’re going to go by. We mentioned both Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds earlier. As it turns out there is no reason for you to pay that much for a vehicle. You will be able to negotiate this price down! Don’t let the car salesman fool you. This is when you put the ball in his court. It helps to bring somebody along with you to act as the strong second. Essentially their job is to hem and haw over the decision. Y’know, really push you towards not buying the car.
Ask the dealer what price he’s willing to start at. This will force him to name a price- and it’ll probably be lower than what’s on the sticker. From here you can continue to haggle down. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you don’t get the price you want! Tell the dealer you need a night to think it over, and when you come back the next day you’ll probably be offered another deal. They’ll be fairly desperate to get you in a car at that point! This tag-team style tactic is great for getting the point across that you know what you’re doing. It’ll also keep the salesman on his toes!
Forever, Or Just For Now?
Ah, yes, the age old question: Buying or leasing?! It’s definitely worth asking about, especially if you aren’t familiar with this terminology. We’re going to break these down to the essentials:
Buying: This means that the car will remain in your possession until you decide to move on. You are purchasing the vehicle and will have a 2, 4 or 6 year lease agreement (most likely) while you pay it completely off. You’ll generally apply for a loan, and then pay that company off monthly. Once you’ve finished paying it off you get the documents in the mail and the car is all yours!
Leasing: When you lease a car you’re essentially saying that you only want it for a little while. This is a great option for people who don’t drive as much, and would like to trade in their vehicle fairly often. There are some downsides, however. The amount of miles you’re allowed to drive depends on the lease agreement, and there are some weird terms and conditions that come along with it. Make sure you read that fine print, and have them explain anything you don’t understand!
There’s a big difference between the two as you can see. You should definitely spend some time thinking about which one applies to you more, and which one might be more manageable. Most people end up going with the first option, as leasing has such specific limitations. Regardless of what you decide make sure you have everything else in order! Yes, we’re talking about that pesky credit score again. Be sure you supply a generous down payment, as well. Always plan ahead, people!
There is truly nothing better than that new car smell. Companies have turned this irresistible aroma into candles, sprays, perfumes, and more. It’s the smell of a fresh start, and a well manicured vehicle. It’s the smell that reminds of you how it feels to drive a shiny new set of wheels fresh off the lot. There’s nothing better than that, after all. Before you’re able to taste this tantalizing fragrance, however, there are a few crucial steps to take. Getting your finances in order, coming up with a down payment, researching different vehicles… it can seem fairly overwhelming. Nobody enjoys the process of buying a new car, but we can all agree that we’re much happier afterward. You’ve covered the first step, however, and you are now prepared to start this process! Now, get out there, and score some of those summer deals!
- USA Today – 10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Car
- Credit – 8 Things You Need To Know Before Buying a New Car
- Huffington Post – 6 Important Things You Should Know Before Buying a New Car
- Men’s Journal – 10 Things to Consider Before Buying a New Car