Buying a car is a big purchase and can be a daunting task, but to turn this tedious task into an easy one, you must learn some basic car buying tips. Deciding exactly what you want and what you are willing to pay up front will save you more money and avoid many common hassles and pitfalls. Follow the 10-step strategy to get the best car deal at the right price:
- Check your budget: Setting a budget is the critical first step. The budget will allow you to choose only cars that you can afford, so stick to your budget and only choose cars that you can afford.
- Choose the right time: At certain times of the year, car dealerships will have a huge inventory of cars. At those times you can find competitive rates, more incentives, and better deals. The best time may be the beginning of the year and from July to October. So it is much better to look for the most suitable time when buying a car.
- Find prices: If you want to save as much money as possible when buying a car, look at car prices. Now, you’re limited to cars that fall into your budget range, try researching the prices of those cars by visiting websites like Edmunds.com, Kelly Blue Book, and NADA to look up the prices of those cars. The most important thing is to collect as many quotes as possible so that you can extract an average price for each car you are interested in. Keep in mind that cars have many different prices, but the invoice price is the most important thing to know when starting the negotiation process.
- Make two lists: New and used cars have advantages and disadvantages. For example, new cars are stocked with new features, but once you buy them, there will be a price drop of up to 11% to 15%. On the other hand, used cars are the domain of the best deals and are well priced, depending on their terms, but they can cost you more if you finance them and they can cost you significantly more to maintain. So consider creating two lists that each contain the range of cars you want to buy as well as their average prices.
- Choose your car model and requirements: Now that you have two lists and a set of cars, try to organize each list by requirements and model. For example, which aspects do you need the most: Do you need a tow pack with the car? Do you need a big car for your family? Do you want a fuel efficient car?
- Consider payment options: Obviously, there are two ways to pay, either you pay cash or finance the car. If you finance the car, you will make a down payment, then a monthly payment until you are done with the total price of the car. If you can afford to pay cash that’s great, but many people choose the financing option. If you are going to finance, try to make the down payment as often as possible. Some people opt for a financial plan at dealerships, but it is not recommended because you can find better financing options with a good interest rate at banks, credit unions, or online by visiting websites such as E-Loan and Lending Tree.
- Consider insurance and warranty premiums: Insurance is a major factor in the total price of a car. Keep in mind that if you buy a sports car or a popular car, the insurance premiums will be higher than for conventional cars. A warranty is something that guarantees your car will be serviced if something goes wrong. Whether you’re buying a new or used car, make sure it has the manufacturer’s warranty, so you don’t have to pay extra money for an extended warranty.
- Check and test drive the car: You must inspect and test drive a vehicle before purchasing it. If you are buying a used car, have the car checked by a trusted mechanic to detect any potential problems the car may have. Moreover, get a vehicle history report to discover any major problems the vehicle may have to check if it was salvaged, stolen or had an accident. When you test drive a car, take your time with it and focus on the driving experience and whether or not it will suit you in the future. If you don’t feel satisfied, leave it and try another car. Don’t be hasty. Instead, be calm and focused and don’t let the dealer or salesperson steer you to another option. You did your homework, and you must stick to it to get the best deal.
- Negotiate the price: Depending on your research and the two listings you have available, you can negotiate with confidence. Now you have loan quotes and rates to help you negotiate. If the car you’re buying is new, make sure you know the “invoice price” so you’ll be in a better position when negotiating. On the other hand, if the car is used, make sure you know the recent resale price of that car.
- Rethink before signing: Finally, if you’ve made up your mind and picked a car to buy, rethink before you sign. Be sure not to sign an “as is” statement until you have thoroughly inspected the vehicle and verified its performance and comfort level. Read the fine print carefully and don’t sign until you know all the details in the contract. Don’t let the dealer or person selling you any car get you to sign a quick one. Instead, take your time to read each clause of the contract better yet. Take a lawyer with you to finish the paperwork for you.
As you can see, if you want to get a better deal when buying a new or used car, there are a lot of things that go into consideration. It is always best to know what you want and what you decide to pay before you buy. So do your homework early to enjoy your favorite car.