Shopping for a new car is both an exciting and stressful process. So many questions start running through your head as you do all of the necessary planning to make your new car dreams a reality. Whether this is the first new car that you’re buying on your own or your fifth, these tips will help you get the best deal possible.
Know What You Can Afford
Knowing how much you can afford to pay will guide you throughout the research process. You should know what monthly payment you can afford before getting attached to a vehicle that is outside of your budget.
You should also factor in cost of ownership when estimating your monthly car expenses. Factors that you should consider include how much you’ll pay for insurance, gas and vehicle maintenance each month.
Do Your Research
Once you know how much you can afford to pay, you’re ready to start researching cars. Compare a variety of different vehicles within your pre-determined price range and avoid letting emotion influence your decision if possible. You also want to read reviews of each vehicle you’re considering and you should look into how much each vehicle costs to maintain.
When Is the Best Time to Buy?
Knowing the best time to buy can save you a lot when they bring you the final bill. Traditionally, the best time to purchase a new car is the last week of December, as dealers will be working furiously to reduce their stock from the current model year.
If you’re looking to buy a brand new model, wait a few months for prices to drop. Dealers charge more for a new model until their inventory increases.
Get Pre-Approved for an Auto Loan
It may seem like a hassle, but securing financing for your new car before you even step on the lot can save you a lot of money. If you put work into getting approved for a loan ahead of time, you could receive an interest rate that is a couple of points lower than what the dealer may offer. Check with an area credit union to see what interest rate you could qualify for—they’ll be able to walk you through the process with ease.
Once you have narrowed down which cars you want to look at and have found a suitable dealer, you should call ahead or submit a request online to see the car that you’re interested in. By doing this, you will provide the sales team with ample time to get the cars out and ready to test drive.
Take Advantage of the Test Drive
When you take a car out on a test drive, make sure that you see how the car performs in a variety of different settings. Drive it on the highway and in traffic. You should also see how the vehicle handles while parking. Be sure that you have the mirrors and seats set to your specifications to get a good idea of how the car feels.
You should also ask the salesperson to show you how all of the bells and whistles work. Knowing what you’re getting for your money is a key part of the test drive.
Don’t Fall to Pressure
Don’t believe a salesperson when they tell you that a deal comes with a time limit. Unless the deal is tied to a specific sale or promotion, they are trying to get you to make a snap decision without considering all of the facts.
Additionally, if the salesperson offers a different car to you than what you had planned on getting, make sure that you go home and do your research before agreeing to take the deal. You need to know what you’re agreeing to before saying yes.
Time to Negotiate
When it comes time to negotiate the price of your car, make sure that you’re negotiating on the full price of the vehicle, not your monthly payment. Otherwise, the salesperson will know what they can tack on to the price of the vehicle to reach the maximum you’re willing to pay for the car each month. If you’re trading in your vehicle, make sure that you know how much you can expect to receive for your trade-in so that you’re not surprised by their offer.
For additional information on negotiating, use these tactics to ensure that you get the best deal possible.
Take the Guesswork Out of Shopping for a New Car
By using these tips, you’ll be sure to take the guesswork out of car shopping. What tips can you share to make shopping for a new car more manageable?