Much like a house, buying a car is an extremely important investment, and you should be thinking long and hard about what you’re getting before laying down the cash. Any auto mechanic will tell you that buying a car is serious business, and you have to be aware of what you’re getting yourself into before you find out you’ve wasted a chunk of money on a lemon. Luckily, we have some great tips and tricks to help you navigate the crazy world of car buying.
The Right Car
While you don’t have to know the exact car you want to buy, you should know generally what it is you want when it comes to things like design – four door or two door? – or gas mileage. These are important considerations that will help you narrow down your search. Searching the websites of automakers or third party buyer’s guides is a great way to get the details on specific automobiles. You can contrast and compare features and styles, and get a better sense of what kind of vehicle you want. Going onto an auto lot without having researched means you might get pressured into buying a vehicle you don’t know anything about, and might end up hating. Car salespeople actually tend to prefer customers that have done their research so the process goes more efficiently.
Know the Price
Another thing that automakers’ websites and third party buyer’s guides can help with is giving you an idea of the price you’re going to be spending on a car. Often, if you’re not prepared with how much a car is going to cost, it’s very easy to have the wool pulled over your eyes and end up paying much more than you should. Knowing the price also lets the sales person know that you’re serious about buying a vehicle, and that they’re not going to be able to swindle you.
Check Your Credit History
It’s not much fun to be excited about getting a new car only to find that your credit’s not good enough. There are multitudes of websites out there that will let you research your credit score, so you can know beforehand what kind of situation you’re dealing with. Having the knowledge of your credit score means you have leverage in the negotiations and know what you’re getting into before arriving at the dealership.
Don’t Buy on the First Visit
It’s tempting to want to buy as soon as you find a car you like with a reasonable price, but it’s not recommended. Shop around at other dealerships, try and get competitive rates, talk to an auto technician about what problems are usually associated with the car, and generally get a great handle on what’s under the hood and what you can expect before taking the plunge. Timing is everything. Go during the week, because dealerships are much busier on weekends. Watch this video about the myths of the best time to buy a car:
Book an Appointment
After you’ve decided you’re ready, call the dealership and book an appointment with the sales manager. This sends the message that you’re serious about the deal and you know what you want. All the car sales training in the world couldn’t sway your choice now!
By following these tips you’ll be a happy car owner in no time!