Buying a car is an exciting experience – especially for young adults since this is their first major purchase. However, this decision should be well-thought-out as this is an expensive investment. Make sure you spend plenty of time weighing your options before spending a lot of money and picking out the one that is not right for your needs.
If you are new to the financing and credit world, these 8 tips will help you make a wise decision before buying a car. It is important that you have the proper knowledge about the different cars available, how much you can afford, and the value of your trade-in.
Identify your Needs
The basic thing to consider before buying a car is what type of vehicle suits your needs. For someone with children or plans to have kids, a big family car that will accommodate everyone should be considered. List down different features you would like to have in a car, such as a sunroof, a good sound system, security features, and heated seats, among others. Figure out where you will be driving and how often.
Determine the budget you can afford
One of the first things to do before buying a car is setting a budget. If there isn’t a realistic budget allocated, you might end up getting a car that is worth more than what you can afford. Luxurious cars can be tempting, but can your budget handle such price? When figuring out how much you can afford, think of different financing methods. If you can afford to buy one in cash, go for it. If you have enough, a large down payment with lower monthly payments can be another option. Speak with your bank to discuss car loans, check vehicle financing options or leasing. Take into consideration other expenses, such as vehicle registration, car insurance, among others.
Consider financing options
As you figure out your budget, you will then be able to have an idea of how much you can spare for a down payment and what monthly payment schemes you can afford. Do this before visiting any dealership. Do some research on various auto loan packages to know what you qualify for.
Research Car Brands and Dealers
The more information you have about the type of vehicle you want, the easier it is to negotiate. Dealers are hesitant to deal with these kinds of people because they are aware of how to lower prices. And this piece of knowledge can work to your advantage. There are many resources available online that provide details about all types of vehicles that meet every person’s needs. Search for used or new cards, look into prices, and compare brands and models. Check with dealers as well about the additional features they are willing to offer.
Do a competitive comparison online. Look into two or three brands in the same category to know what’s right for you. Get different quotes from various dealerships before spending your hard-earned money. Use online tools for deal pricing and invoices. There are different cars that provide more value for your money. Research and create lists of different prices, features, and services from different dealerships. Visit some sites as well to know if they offer rebates.
Avoid unnecessary extras
Most dealerships will offer added extras to get you to pay more. Be smart and do not fall for this trap. Be careful of fast-talking sales reps and only take what you actually need. There are extras like fabric protection, paint protection, VIN etching, or rust-proofing that may be good to have. But, unless you really want them and can afford those extras, then go ahead. Remember, always check your budget and your needs. You do want to end up paying a lot for something you will not really use.
Read the contract carefully
For every purchase made, including buying a car, a legal agreement is signed between the seller and the buyer. And this agreement, wherever the purchase took place, is always binding. Once the papers are signed and keys are turned over, there is no coming back. That is why it is important to read the black and white print before signing. You don’t want to be trapped in an agreement that you didn’t want in the first place.
Get the vehicle inspected
Before spending money, have the car inspected first by a trusted and skilled mechanic. Dealerships that will not allow an impartial inspection may have something to hide. A car may look great and elegant on the outside but may have some issues on the inside. A comprehensive inspection will help you save thousands.
Shopping for cars – used or new – can be demanding and stressful. There are many tips for buying a car. With the right knowledge and preparation, you are bound to make a smart decision. For more information about cars and services, visit Carfect. It’s your one-stop shop for anything car related.