Things to Consider When Buying a Car

Whether you are a car enthusiast or not, buying a new car is always an exciting moment. Even if you are just purchasing a used vehicle, it’s still a big deal. When looking to buy a new car, you want to find the right car that fits both your wants and needs. But car shopping is much more than just going to your local dealer and picking out the one you like. To get the most bang for your buck, and the most car for your money, you need to know a little bit about the vehicles in general. 

From options, prices, payment plans, and even the fine art of haggling, it’s important to know the essentials in order to ensure the best car buying experience possible. Let’s discuss some things you should consider when buying a car, and how to avoid some of the most common mistakes made by new car buyers. So let’s get started!

New Car Buying Tips

Decide on what car you want/need.

Car shopping is sort of an adventure, and it starts with deciding the car you want and what you can afford. Be realistic with both your budget and your expectations, taking into consideration your everyday needs, driving habits, and annual mileage. Settle on the features you really need and what exactly you are looking for from a new car. Search online for consumer reviews, road tests, and other useful information that will help you narrow down your list of potential suitors. The more time you spend researching your next car, the easier and faster the buying process will be. 

Create a budget and payment plan that works.

A crucial step in purchasing a new vehicle is establishing a firm budget and choosing a payment plan that works for you. Looking at your monthly income and expenses will help you determine a clear picture of what type of payment you can afford, and for how long you wish to be financing your vehicle. It helps to guide you in the best direction to keep your monthly payments low and affordable, reducing the stress on your monthly budget

If you plan to keep the vehicle for a shorter period of time, and also plan on not covering a lot of miles, you should consider a lease. But regardless of whether you plan to purchase or lease, a calculator and loan officer will be your best friends - even before you go to the dealership. Also, make sure you take into consideration things like annual costs, maintenance, insurance, and fuel consumption when deciding on your next vehicle purchase.

Don’t be afraid to haggle. 

While some of the stereotypes are unwarranted, there is still a reason there is some stigma attached to car salesmen. At its core, the job of a salesman is to not to let you leave the dealership without a car. This is why you should prepare yourself for all kinds of offers and deals to be thrown your way once you start talking to a salesman. Stick to your guns and the hard decisions you made in preparation for these negotiations. 

Let the dealer know how much you can spend on a vehicle, and that you can’t move a dime over that price (regardless of whether you could or not). It’s the job of the salesman to find both a vehicle and terms that work for your needs and your budget. If a particular dealer is not able to find a vehicle or price that matches your criteria, don’t be afraid to shop around. While it may be the most convenient to go to the nearest dealer, going to several local dealers will get often get you the best deal, after seeing the available financing options and inventory available at each location. 

Things To Consider When Buying a New or Used Car

Ensure The Vehicle Has Passed a Thorough Inspection and Mechanical Check.

The first thing when you should do before pulling the trigger on buying a used car is to ensure the vehicle has been thoroughly checked. Regardless of how many miles it has or how old it is, you always want an independent confirmation that the car is in full working order. Whether it be by Carfax or an independent mechanic, you want the peace of mind in knowing that your newly purchased vehicle doesn’t consume oil, all the systems work, and is roadworthy and safe to drive. 

Never settle for anything less than a fully functioning car with all components in working order. Also, be sure that there are no signs of unreported bodywork damage or crude repairs done to the vehicle before signing on the dotted line. 

Ensure The Vehicle Has a Title and the Proper Paperwork.

In some instances, a vehicle may look spotless from the outside and seem to be in perfect working order. However, it hides dark secrets on the inside - like a salvage title or problems in the registration or ownership documents. That is why it is essential to be sure that the vehicle’s documents are in order and that the car has not been reported stolen or claimed by insurance companies. Many of us have heard horror stories about people buying a stolen car without even knowing it, and this is often a result of not ensuring the title and proper paperwork were in place before the purchase. You can quickly check the background of a car or truck by using services like Carfax, which can help you avoid being ‘that’ guy we were just mentioning. 

Common Car Buying Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t buy a car you don’t need.

It happens all too often that car buyers go to the dealership with a specific vehicle and budget in mind, only to end up getting talked into purchasing a car that they don’t really need. If you are a single person, you probably don’t need a 7-seat minivan. And likewise, you probably don’t need a Jeep Wrangler with a lift kit and mud tires if you never go off-roading. When you looking to buy a car, think about how you intend to use it and don’t be deterred from finding the vehicle that suits those needs. And be realistic about your budget and expectations. 

Don’t go over budget.

This is one of the most common mistakes made by car buyers today, especially for those buying a new car. You went to the dealership with a firm price you planned on sticking to, but before you know it, the dealer has you test driving a higher-tier model or premium version that is out of your established budget. In a whirlwind of activity, you decide to purchase the car and BOOM, you’ve just committed to a long-term contract that is outside your budget. Dealers are known for pulling such tricks on unassuming customers. Stick to your budget and avoid the headache that results from buyer’s remorse. 

Don’t buy a car you haven’t seen in person.

In the era of eBay, online ads, and Facebook marketplace, lots of people buy cars sight unseen. The process is oftentimes simple; people send money to the buyer and then go to pick up the car or truck. This practice is incredibly risky, and we would advise against it at all costs. It’s an all but sure way to disaster. In many cases in life, pictures can be misleading, and the same truth applies to cars. 

Buying a car simply based on the pictures and listed specs all but ensures your chances of getting a bad deal, or worse, a lemon. Even the worst car can be made presentable from the right angle, proper lighting, and some Photoshop magic. We strongly suggest always inspecting the vehicle firsthand before signing off on any purchase. This even goes even for brand new cars, not just for used ones.