Every new car buyer should be prepared for their purchase. Buying a car is a big deal, and while it is very exciting, people can make mistakes that cost them dearly later on. Make sure that you are prepared by following this list of must knows.
1. Better the credit, better the deal
Before anything else, you want to make sure that your credit is in the best position that it can be in. As soon as you start thinking about purchasing your car, make sure you are also building your credit as well. As a new car buyer, it is important that you can show that you are responsible and reliable.
2. Miles Per Gallon
Miles per gallon will let you know how much gas the car needs in order to run. This is a number that is important because gas is expensive and as nice as the car may look, I can guarantee you that it won’t be so nice when you cannot afford to fill the tank.
3. Choose the car best for your environment
Sometimes a new car buyer might already have a car in mind, but it is important to think about the terrain and conditions that you will be living in. For instance, a really low car where you can feel everything, won’t be best for someone who lives in the mountains.
4. Safety Features
You want to make sure that the car you are looking into can create the best driving environment for you. At the end of the day, you want to make sure you arrive to your destinations safely.
Going off of the last point, I would advise a new car buyer to research the recall history of the car they are interested in. It an give you an indication into the type of issues that particular car maker has.
6. Go in with confidence
When negotiating for your car, make sure you go in with confidence. When the salesman thinks that you know what you are talking about, they are less likely to try to pull one over on you. That would also mean to know terminology like MSRP and interest rates.
Even if a small race car is what you’re going for, if you are six feet tall, that might be a bad option. This is also why test drives are very important. You are going to be driving this car for a while, so make sure that it feels right for you.
8. Know what others are getting the car for.
Car buying is all about negotiating, so if you know that there are people getting the car for $10,000 less than market value, you should be aiming for the same. Shop around dealerships, never settle for the first offer.
9. Know how much you can afford
When it comes down to the monthly payments and you take your credit score into consideration, you need to be sure that you can afford those payments comfortably. Cutting it close should not be considered making it because cars are unpredictable, so if something happens, you need to be sure you can afford it.
10. Know your needs
Outside of climate, like mentioned above, it is important to shop knowing how the car will function for you. Do you plan on having a family? Well, the two door sports cars should be out. If you will use your car for equipment, then a large trunk space might be a necessity.
11. New vs. Used
While used cars can be cheaper, there can also be a lot of miles already on it. New cars are more worry free, but the value depreciates immediately. There are drawbacks and advantages to each, so make sure you find out what option is best for you.
12. Research financing
If you need to finance your car, learn whether it would be cheaper to finance through the dealership, your bank, or another source. As a new car buyer, it might not have been something to cross your mind, but it can help to save you more money in the long run.
13. Know how much add-ons are for your needs
If you know that you want to get run flat tires vs the standard ones, know how much that will put you out. People will focus on the base price without factoring in those add-ons and then the price of the car will go up by the thousands.
14. Resale value
Especially for new cars that depreciate in value greatly, it is important to know how much you could get for you vehicle. In case your needs change and you then need to change your car, you should know how valuable your car is.
15. Vanity Plates
This is a small tip, but as a former new car buyer myself, I thought it would be really cool to have a personalized plate, but didn’t know that they were an up charge, so keep that in mind if you are interested.
Be mindful of how much it will cost to maintain your vehicle. Some cars are more expensive to get fixed than others, simply because of the parts used, so be mindful of that in the buying process.
17. If you get a used car…
You want to make sure that there is a reliable mechanic that you can take the car to. If you can, try to also get a car that doesn’t have a great deal of miles on it. Since it is used, there is only so much that you can do, but that does not mean that you have to settle for a terrible car though.
18. Prioritize needs over wants
It would be lovely if all cars could park themselves, but it is not possible or cheap. Being a new car buyer, most likely your funds are not as plentiful as your wish list. With that being said, if your budget is not lining up with the price of your car, cut back on some of the add-ons that are not necessary. It’s hard, but you got this.
19. Consumer reports
Look into reviews on your car. It is always helpful to have first hand testimony on how a car drives and if it is worth the money in the long run. If the car has a bad rating, you can assume that you might want to look into another one.
20. Have a good rapport with your salesman
Car buying is a negotiation, and to get the best deal, it would go a long way if you are a good customer. People are always more willing to help those out who are kind, so do yourself a favor and play nice, you jut might get a good deal out of it.