5 Things NOT to Do When Buying a Car
Buying a new car can be scary. You might have heard unflattering stories about car salesmen and anytime you’re putting that much money into something is quite the important investment. Being prepared and knowing what to do when buying a new car helps, but so does knowing what mistakes others have made when buying a new car.
Buy the Deal, Not the Car
Deals, deals, deals!!! Every year, every car dealership has deals whether its Presidents Day, Labor Day, the Fourth of July, the end or start of summer or Christmas. Those deals might save you some money upfront, but the deal isn't going to be what makes you happy. Bide your time and find the car that's right for you, regardless of a deal. If you can save a little money on top, that's awesome. But remember it's your car that you'll have years down the road.
5 Things the Dumbest Car Buyers DoHere are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Not Doing Research Knowledge is power, and walking into the dealership having done research is a must. You might think you're going to a one-stop shop of knowledge on every vehicle when you go to the dealership, but it's important to have a solid background of knowledge before you head in. This will allow you to ask the right questions about the cars you're interested in, as well as avoid being misled.
- Succumbing to Brand Loyalty Nike or Adidas? Coke or Pepsi? Everyone has a favorite, and it can often lead to making purchasing mistakes because you believe everything your favorite auto company makes is the best. Doing your research beforehand can help break the trend of unnecessary brand loyalty and pushing yourself to look beyond what mom and dad drive is the first step.
- Skipping the Test Drive So you did a fair amount of research and know the perfect car before you walked in? Great, but that's no excuse to skip a test drive. Knowing the safety features in and out helps and having read reviews from satisfied customers can impact an opinion, but only you can tell if the car feels right to you. Test drive the car and make sure the handling is where you want it to be for your driving style and that you're comfortable in a car you might have for the next decade.
- Price Negotiation into One Step Possibly the biggest oversight of any buyer is settling on a price fixed at the dealership. It can cost you thousands of dollars. Rather than letting a salesman negotiate for you, break down the steps so that you can control prices at every corner. Some points to consider:
- Don't negotiate based on monthly payments. Lower payments can mean a more spread-out payment plan, meaning more taxes and interest in the long run. Know what you can pay a month, but keep that to yourself as you find the best price.
- Don't negotiate based on sticker value. There are ways to find what a dealership's bottom line price is, so getting a salesman to knock off a couple hundred extra dollars from the listed price might not be as good of a deal as you thought initially.
- Don't wait until after you get to the dealership to get financing. Only having one financing option, or being forced into a payment plan that costs more in the long run, gives more control to the dealership when you go to buy your car. Have a loan plan figured out before going to buy a car.
- Don't delay finding your current car's value. Have an independent mechanic evaluate your car so you know it's worth when you trade it in, or sell it separately to get its full value.