Buying a vehicle can be a daunting experience, especially when it is the first time you’re hunting for vehicles. It can be stressful, tiring, and a really anxiety-producing financial task. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
The more prepared and informed you are on how to screen cars in the buying process and how to make sure you are making the right decision, the less challenging this experience will be.
So, want a stress-free first-time vehicle-buying experience? Please stick with us and keep reading below!
Know your budget
It’s a no-brainer that you need to know your budget before you start visiting all the car dealerships in your area. Yet, you’d be surprised how easy it can be to ignore your bank account balance and let yourself get carried away by the fantasy of driving your dream car, resulting in you spending more than you actually have.
So, before you start to look for vehicles, figure out how much money you have to spend, hopefully without leaving a major hole in your wallet. Also, when you calculate your budget, make sure you keep in mind that the price’s final cost is more than its sticker price.
Many people tend to forget that besides the car’s price, they also need to pay for various registration fees, taxes, fuel, and regular maintenance, costs that add up and significantly increase the price of the vehicle.
What’s more, figure out your payment method. Do you have enough money to pay cash up front, or do you need to take a loan to finance your car?
Take your time to do a lot of research
Another great tip every first-time vehicle buyer should know is that you must give yourself enough time to research the options you have. In other words, buy the car before you need it so that you don’t feel pressured by time to buy the first vehicle you see. Stay ahead of that by starting to research your options way long before you need it.
You know what they say, “knowledge is power.” And with car buying, this is no exception to the rule. The better you know the options you have, the better decision you’ll make.
What should you consider when researching cars? Well, besides your budget, as mentioned above, you should also consider your needs. For example, do you need a compact car because you live in a city? Do you want a more spacious vehicle so that your family fits comfortably? Will you be using the vehicle for everyday commute and might need a more economical vehicle?
Choose the right time
Yes, you’ve read that right, timing is another important aspect of car buying that can help you get the best deal. How so? Well, there are certain times of the year when you can potentially get better deals.
October, November, and December are the best time of the year to purchase a car. During this time of the year, car dealerships have sales quotas that typically break into yearly, quarterly, or monthly sales goals. Generally, all these three goals begin to come together from October through December.
What’s more, it isn’t just the end of the year when car dealerships might offer you a more advantageous deal. At the end of the month, the end of a quarter, or the end of any period that may be connected to a sales goal is usually a good time to buy a car at a better price.
Research the dealership
You did your research and know what type of vehicle you want? Great, now start researching car dealerships.
Start by searching for dealerships that sell the type of vehicle you want to buy. Say, for example, that you want to buy a Ford car. In that case, you’ll have to look for car dealerships that sell Ford vehicles, like thoroughbredford.com.
Next, you need to check the dealership’s reputation. The Internet is key here because you can read reviews and feedback online from past customers who bought vehicles from them to determine whether or not they are trustworthy and offer a great customer experience.
What’s more, another thing to check when researching dealerships is whether or not they offer test drives.
Take the car for a test drive
Found what seems to be the best vehicle and want to seal the deal? Just a second! Take the car for a test drive before you sign any contract.
It’s really important to take the car for a driving test and not just because the dealer might be hiding some issues that could cost you a fortune to fix if you’re buying a used car. Taking the car for a test is also important because it allows you to see whether or not the vehicle fits with you.
This way, you’ll be able to check if you feel comfortable driving that vehicle if it really fits your needs and driving style and if it’s really worth the amount of money asked by the dealer.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
As a first-time car buyer, you may feel a bit intimidated about negotiating the price of the vehicle you want to buy. Yet, you shouldn’t feel this way. After all, you’re not hurting anyone by asking the dealer for a better deal.
Plus, you also leave them the option to choose whether or not they give it to you.
Yet, if you are buying a used car, you may be able to lower the asked price by even a few hundred bucks, whereas when buying a new vehicle, you shouldn’t expect the dealer to offer you a much lower price.