Buying a vehicle is one of the few major investments you’ll make in your life. For some families, a car isn’t just a luxury. It’s a necessity to move around everyone. Vehicles can get expensive very quickly. Although when you go to a dealership or go through a private sale, you have a bit of wiggle room to negotiate, chances are you won’t get the price down much lower than the listing or asking price. Learn the dos and don’ts of shopping for a new vehicle to help you make the right choice for the best price.
Do Test Drive the Vehicle
You shouldn’t buy a vehicle without sitting in it and driving it around. What it looks like on the outside may be appealing. However, once you sit behind the wheel and start to drive around, the feel of the car should be more important. You wouldn’t want to drive around in something you’re not comfortable with.
Don’t Overspend on Accessories
Most vehicles will come either fully loaded or basic. The option with all the bells and whistles will be the most expensive out of them all. If that is what you want and can afford it, then go ahead. For others though, you’ll want to seriously think about the additions and if it is worth the price. Whomever you’re buying the vehicle from will likely try to negotiate in the extras for an additional price. Typically, the more you pay, the more they make in commission. If you don’t think you need it, then listen to your gut.
Do Walk Out if You’re Pushed
There is nothing wrong with walking out on a deal if you feel too pressured during the sale. If you’re looking at a car and the salesperson continues to push you towards a more expensive vehicle or to add on luxuries you don’t want, it’s okay to thank them for their time and go somewhere else. When negotiating a price, if the salesperson tries to increase the price after negotiation, take your quote and go somewhere else. You can use this to your advantage.
Don’t Take Just Any Car Loan
Unless you have tens of thousands of dollars in cash sitting around, you’re likely going to need a car loan. When the time comes, don’t agree to the first car loan you’re offered. Spend some time shopping around for a car loan to get you the best interest rates. Before you begin looking at a vehicle, work at improving your chances of getting a lower interest rate for your car loan. Do so by improving your credit score, talking to different lenders, and having a down payment ready.
Do Think About the Type of Vehicle You Require
As tempting as it is to get the bright red sports car you’ve been eyeing up, it’s essential to ask yourself if it’s practical for your current life situation. If not, spend some time thinking about what type of vehicle is best suited for you and your family. Consider factors like the size of your family, how often you drive in a day, what the climate is like in your area, and if you need lots of storage. A family with multiple kids would get tired of a squishing into a sports car pretty quickly. If you have a long commute, something that has good fuel economy should be a priority.
Don’t Blow Your Budget
Have a budget in mind when shopping for a new vehicle. Going to a dealership with no price point in mind will likely only end up with you spending more than what you can afford. You don’t want to end up car broke because you didn’t thoroughly plan out your finances.
Do Go to Multiple Dealerships and Lenders
When you’re ready to shop around, have a few different dealerships and companies in mind that sell the same brand you’re looking at. Not every company will give you the same price for a car. You may find that one will be cheaper than the other. The same goes for finding a car loan from a lender. The interest rate and value of the loan could be different from lender to lender. Spend some time speaking with multiple lenders and dealerships before making a decision.
Don’t Think Shopping Means Buying
Although the words are often interchangeable, don’t confuse shopping with buying when looking at vehicles. Shopping means you’re looking at different options, getting quotes, testing out cars, and doing the necessary research before you make a decision. Buying is when you’re ready to sign the paperwork and take home your new vehicle. Because vehicles only depreciate in value, you don’t want to buy something and have buyer’s remorse shortly after. Selling or trading right away will only lose you a significant amount of money. Doing your research and following the dos and don’ts listed above will help you find the right vehicle for you at the best price.