7 Steps to Buying a New Car
Next to buying a house, buying a car is a laborious and expensive process. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly — you’ll regret breaking down on the side of the road after you’ve driven off the lot in your newest lemon.
However, there’s a game plan to buying yourself a new car! Whether it is your first time or a car-buying veteran, here are some tips on making the car buying process less headache-inducing.
Know Your Finance Options
Before you set your sights on your dream car (that’s later!), you need to determine how you’ll be paying for your dream car. Maybe you have the money saved up for a down payment? Or maybe you spend your free time punching in numbers to a vehicle loan calculator during your free time? Either way, it’s time to start thinking about financing options.
Most individuals have to take out a loan on their new car. However, purchasing a car is dependent on, and directly affected by, your credit score. If you don’t have a good credit score, your interest rate will be significantly higher. Consult with an accredited credit bureau to raise your credit score before you move onto the next step.
Another option to consider when purchasing a car: buying a used car or leasing a vehicle. Buying a car is good for someone who plans to drive their car often, like more than 15,000 miles a year, and wants to drive their car until their loan is fully paid off. A leased car, which you lease from the car dealership, is appropriate for a person who wants less commitment and a lower monthly payment.
Brush up on the financial options available to you when hunting for a new ride!
Buying a New Car: Research, Research, Research
While a bright red Lexus IS might look just at home in your driveway, looks are one of the last things that should matter on your priorities list. It would help if you determined your car’s needs first before you go and buy it, or you could end up with buyer’s remorse. Car salespeople are there to do one thing: sell you a car from their lot.
It would be best if you went into this journey with your rose-tinted glasses off and your number one priorities list in hand. Here are a few tips as to what you should consider in your next car besides looks:
- Space (legroom, cargo)
- Features & add-on’s
Jump onto the next tab in your internet browser and get looking! Many cost-efficient cars on the market give a lot of bang for their buck. The Toyota Corolla SE 2017, for example, is celebrated for its fuel economy, high-quality interior, and advanced safety features. The used models are selling for approximately USD 15K – USD 20K. With a little bit of research, you might stumble upon the perfect car for you and your wallet. Check the most popular car shopping sites.
If your car isn’t a danger to yourself and society, hold out to purchase as long as you can. You never know when that car you’ve had your eye on will materialize at an insanely low price. Whether it’s a year-end sales event, a holiday sales event, or a reliable online sale – it can be well worth the wait instead of making a regretful impulse buy.
Buying a car is a big purchase – one that should be made with as much forethought as possible. Don’t set your heart on one car, either. Many makes and models out there with high-tech features, reliability, and strong safety scores – keep your options flexible with several options in mind.
If you’re on top of your game, you’ll be well prepared to jump just when the price is right.
Prepare Your Current Car
If you are trading or selling your current car, get ready to fix it up, and make it as presentable as possible. Scrape off that gum in your cup holder, change those weathered seat covers, fix your cracked windshield, and try to restore it as much as you can. The least you can do is scrub the exterior until it’s squeaky clean and give the interior a thorough vacuuming.
Before they buy it off of you, and auto-trader will want all of your service records, and they will want to know of any fixes or repairs made to the vehicle. Make sure to catalog all of these details before bringing them in for a professional evaluation. When you’re trying to sell, leave some wiggle room – offer it for a couple of hundred dollars more than you would like to sell it for.
Get the Most Out of Your Test Drive
A test drive will tell you just about everything you need to know about your new vehicle. Treat this test drive with extreme caution to gather the most hands-on information. You already have the spec information from doing your own online research – this is the time to see how synced you are with your dream car.
During the test drive, you want to get up close and personal with the car’s exterior as much as the interior. Look for any unsightly dings or parts in need of repair. Kick the tires. Ensure that everything is in tip-top shape before you climb in – you don’t want to make any big repairs as soon as you drive it off the lot.
When you’re inside, take a look at the seats, the upholstery, storage, safety features, dashboards, and displays. Get a feel for the car and how everything functions before you begin driving. Once you are driving, take note of how comfortable or comfortable the car rides. Are there any glitches in the computer system? Major blind spots? Does it accelerate well and break properly?
This is your chance to gauge how the vehicle will feel in your everyday life—so take this time seriously.
Buying a New Car: Think On It
If you’re not completely set on your decision – don’t let the salesperson pressure you into a purchase. This isn’t easy to do, but it is worth it in the long run. Test drive multiple cars at different lots, take a step back, and weigh your options. You’ll make your best decisions with a clear head.
Delivery & Walkthrough
Congrats! You have made it to the final step. Once you have made your decision and purchased your new car, you’ll have to get it home. Before you drive it off the lot, check the car’s exterior and interior for any markings. Ensure the gas tank is full and make the car have all of the necessary paperwork it needs to be registered.
Finally, ask your salesperson for a final walkthrough. They will show you how to work all of the features, like Bluetooth, and the necessary controls, one more time. Once you feel comfortable about all of the loose ends, your new car is now in your hands!