There are around 284 million registered vehicles in the U.S, which explains why so many buyers need help with the buying process.
Knowing the ins and outs of purchasing a vehicle is key to finding the car of your dreams without worrying about being ripped off. But, if you’ve never bought a vehicle before, it can feel overwhelming knowing what to do. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you want to buy a new car and need advice on the situation.
Sounds like you? Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Read on for the top car buying tips you should know.
Figure Out What You Can Afford
Before buying a car, it’s important to have an ironclad budget. Be honest about your finances so that you don’t buy a car you struggle to finance or buy upfront.
Also, buyers should remember that new cars lose 60% of their value in the first few years, which means that you should only buy a new model if you’ve got a generous amount of funds.
Decide Whether to Buy or Lease
Once you’ve covered your budget, decide whether you want to buy or lease a car.
Although the latter lets you use a newer whip, you must look out for specific lease terms, such as mileage and wear-and-tear to avoid paying penalties. If you do follow this route, make sure that you’ve preapproved for a loan to avoid disappointment. To learn more about the process, go to Auto Media for more information.
Find Your Dream Model
Browse cars for sale or lease until you find your dream model.
Make sure you have a list of “must-haves,” as it will help you narrow down the search. For instance, if you want a compact, stylish model, then consider treating yourself to a sports car. On the flip side, families should prioritize cars with ample room and at least five doors for functionality.
Trade-in Your Old Vehicle
One of the top money saving tips is to trade in your old vehicle. Although you can sell to a private seller, you’ll likely get a better deal going to a car dealer. The key is to know how much the model is worth so that you get a good price.
To figure this out, factor in the vehicle’s mileage, condition, and age. Make sure that you’re honest about any recent repairs and show the potential buyer the logbook, as it’s a legal requirement. It’s wise to sell to the dealership where you’re buying your new car, because it means you can also reduce your sales tax liability while accelerating the selling process.
Wait for the Best Time to Buy a Car
Anyone who knows how to buy a car waits for the best time of the year. Note, this is always at the end of the quarter because salespeople are desperate to hit their target. You can use this as leverage in your negotiation and increase the chances of getting a great deal.
If you can, wait until late summer to buy a car because dealerships want to clear space for their newer models. As a result, playing the waiting game can save you hundreds on the final sales price.
A good rule of thumb is to visit at least five dealerships so you know the vehicle’s average price. This is because franchise will have their discounts or bonuses so you can get the same car for cheaper. But it’s important to research each dealership and read their online reviews to see if customers would recommend them.
Take a Test Drive
Don’t buy the car unless you’ve had a test drive. Whether you’re buying from a dealer or a private seller, take it for a spin on different roads so you get a better feel of the vehicle. You should also familiarize yourself with its controls and determine whether it aligns with your needs.
Get the Car Inspected
Many buyers fall into the trap of not getting the vehicle inspected, which can result in costly repairs further down the line. Luckily, you can prevent this by taking the vehicle to a mechanic for a proper inspection. Note, if the seller is unhappy with your request, it’s a major red flag and you should continue your search.
If you’re stumped on negotiation tips, know that you should be upfront about how much you’re willing to pay. Start with the lowest price so that there’s enough room for you and the seller to meet in the middle. The key is to be confident when you’re negotiating and act like you’re willing to walk away if you don’t get the deal, even if it’s your dream car.
It also helps if you’ve done your research and know how many other dealers are selling the vehicle so that you can use it as leverage.
Look Out for Hidden Fees
During your negotiation, ask the seller about potential hidden fees. You’ll likely need to pay taxes, title, and registration, but they could slip other ones in, such as charging you if you’re paying for cash. Also, you may be charged for a destination charge if the dealership must be shipped to the lost.
Know the Latest Car Buying Tips
Hopefully, you’ll use these car buying tips before your next purchase.
There are many important tips to consider, such as figuring out your budget and deciding whether it’s better to buy or lease. Buyers should also be prepared to negotiate and be aware of hidden fees as they will bump up the price. Good luck!
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