If you’re like most people, buying a car will be one of the biggest investments you make in your life. To be sure you are making a smart investment, it is important to do extensive research and know what you’re looking for. These tips will help better prepare you during your car buying process.
Take your time. You don’t need to purchase your new car in a hurry. Researching is the biggest and most important step in the car buying process. Potential buyers should take adequate time to understand the investment they are about to make before actually making it.
Set your budget. Be sure to include all fees that may come with purchasing a new car, including ownership costs. Things such as insurance expenses, fuel and resale value are vital to understanding what kind of budget to set for yourself. It is important to know what you can afford before making a purchase in order to prevent future financial binds.
Determine Insurance fees. Call your insurance company and ask for a price quote on a new vehicle. This is important to determine how much more you will be paying for your insurance each month. This will also help you with the second tip of this list – setting a budget.
Credit Report. It is highly suggested that you get a free credit report ahead of time. This will allow you to correct any outstanding problems that may be affecting your credit score.
Make a list. Make a short list of the cars you might like to purchase. Research any online reviews associated with each model noted on your list. Figure out the pros and cons presented by these reviews and compare these to the things you need and want in a car. In addition to things you may want or need, take note of what you dislike – this will help you narrow down your choices later.
Dealer reviews. Unless you are planning on implementing an online car purchasing company such as DealerPinch, researching dealer reviews can help you to figure out which dealerships can best assist you during your car buying process.
Understand pricing terms. Make sure you do enough research on important terms used during the car buying process so that you know what is being discussed. Terms such as “invoice price” (the price the dealer paid for the car) and “sticker price” (which is the same as the MSRP or Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) are important to know.
Learn about Warranty Coverage. This is the agreement made between a manufacturer and the buyer promising a product or service will function as it is designed. If the product or service does not function as promised, the manufacturer administers repair or refund free of charge. It is ideal to find vehicles covered by warranty, this helps buyers avoid paying money out of pocket if the vehicle breaks for any reason. There are also several different types of warranties and it is essential to understand what each warranty covers.
Free Maintenance. When buying a new car, keep an eye out for cars that come with a free maintenance plan. The amount of coverage time varies but being able to have your car maintenanced for free can save you a ton of money in the long run.
Find all possible discounts. There are several different discounts that buyers may qualify for. DealerPinch allows clients to view and add discounts that apply to them in the “Save More” section of the website. Each bonus explains how customers can qualify to use that specific discount.
Build your car. Most manufacturers offer a configuration tool on their website. This is where buyers can build their cars, view different color options and extra features they may want to add on. This step is helpful for when you go to test drive your vehicle and when you finally decide to purchase.
Test Drive. The second most important part of car buying is the test drive. This is where potential car buyers can see which cars physically fit the criteria they are looking for. Even if you are using an online company like DealerPinch, make an appointment to test drive the vehicles you have on your list. Without a test drive, you’ll never know if you’ll like driving the car you buy. Here are a few tips to keep in mind about test driving:
Make an appointment to test drive a vehicle identical to the one you built with the configuration tool.
Clarify to the salesman that you are cross-shopping and will not be purchasing a car that day.
Try to test drive the vehicles on your list back-to-back.
Test drive on a weekday when dealership lots aren’t as busy.
Bring a checklist of the features you want to inspect on the car.
Let the salesman show you all the options and features and how they work.
Take your time.
Narrow down your list. Compare the cars you have researched and test driven to narrow your decision down. Hopefully by the time you’ve finished your test drive you will know which car suits you best. If not, weigh the pros and cons of each vehicle until you decide on your new car.
Whether you decide to endure the process of purchasing a new vehicle by walking into a dealership or decide to purchase your car online through a company such as DealerPinch, these tips can help make your experience a little bit easier. These tips can help you become more educated about the car buying process and allow you to get the best bang for your buck – the exact car you want at the exact price you want.
DealerPinch is a service committed to making your next new car buying/leasing experience as simple and enjoyable as possible, from the comfort of your own home or office. Use our unique process to make a smart offer while protecting your identity and your credit with TransUnion and ACRAnet. We eliminate the stress of negotiating with a salesperson at a car lot and provide you with comprehensive data and reviews to help you make an educated decision. Simply pick your car and options, make an offer, and let our dealership network take care of the rest!
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