Choosing the right car can be difficult with all the options and brands that are available in the market. You might make the mistake of overpaying at one dealership when another sells the same car at a lower price. Not to mention, if this is your first time buying a car then you won’t know what to do, and what the important things to remember are. Don’t worry; this article has everything that you need to help you through the process. It doesn’t matter whether this is your first car or your fifth—keep reading to make sure that you don’t make these mistakes.
1. Not comparing different car prices
It’s definitely easy to go to a dealer near your neighborhood. The fact that it’s close by and is easily accessible makes it easier and more comfortable. However, it’s better to check online for deals. In fact, you might save a few thousand dollars with just a few clicks on your laptop. if you’re looking for either used or new cars, you can also go here:
Since the dealership close by might not have the best prices, you’re ripping yourself off by not doing your due diligence and at least looking around. Search for dealerships that actually sell their cars below the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price or MSRP. All you need to do beforehand is to research which car brand or model it is that you want to buy.
When looking in-person at dealerships, pay attention to the stickers attached on the window. These stickers often contain the car’s MSRP along with a list of features. Don’t forget to calculate the price along with the features. Some cars might come cheap, but have no additional features.
When online, some websites will help you to look for the best car prices. You can find promotions online on top of the dealership’s discounts. Some dealerships also advertise their best prices through their social media pages. When you find the best price for the car, you can now leverage it. Print it out or take a picture on your phone, then show these offers to a dealership near you; they may be unable to meet or beat those prices, but they might also try, so it’s worth a shot.
2. Ignoring financing terms
Looking for a deal below the MSRP isn’t the only thing you should be thinking about. You should always be wary of your financing choices when dealing with large purchases. Although interest rates come in small numbers, you might be shelling out more money than you think by looking for the best cash price.
Buyers tend to forget that just because you had a small win with getting the prices USD$500 below the MSRP, doesn’t mean that you won’t be paying at a 6% interest for four years. That could easily cost you USD$2000 dollars or even more. The process doesn’t start and stop in looking for the best cash price.
To break this down for you, you can purchase a car priced at $25,600 MSRP, despite getting it down to USD$25,000, and you still need to pay for financing. If you don’t shop around for the best financing rates, paying interest on USD$25,000 at a rate of 6% for the next 48 months will still cost you USD$2,545.63. That’s with a USD$5,000 down-payment, and not including tax.
You should always look for the best prices, and try not to stick with in-house financing. Stick to financing on your terms—not theirs. Some banks even offer 4% financing for 48 months. That’s already over $800 in savings compared to a 6% interest rate. If possible, try to reduce the terms from 4 years to even 1 year, and you’ll likely see over USD$1,200 in savings.
If you don’t want to add another headache to the car purchasing process, the best answer to your problems is buying the car in cold hard cash. No interest rate and no down-payment necessary. If it’s not possible to buy it in cash, then try to pay the car off within 3 years, and look for the best interest rate for your credit score.
3. Not negotiating at all
A large financial commitment and obligation like buying a car is something towards which you should give your best effort. Don’t be intimidated by all the prices and unfamiliar words that dealerships throw at you. You should always negotiate to get the best deals on your own terms. The car you’re buying, after all, isn’t theirs; it’s going to be yours. A salesman’s rehearsed sales talk might sound incredible, but make sure that you’re not compromising your standards.
Dealerships don’t tell you this, but everything in and on the car can be negotiated down. If you still aren’t confident enough, then bring someone trusted with you to help with the negotiations.
In fact, you should consider having someone who you know to be an expert negotiator actually do it for you. There’s no shame in asking for help from your friends and family to get ahead of the negotiation. Overall, never forget that you can always walk away if you don’t like the deal that’s being presented to you. There are always other dealerships ready and waiting to take you up on your terms.
4. Not doing a test drive
Before making any deals, ensure that you get the right car. The first mistake that any buyer can make is to take the word of the car ads. Don’t get roped in by the excellent advertising strategy that companies use to make their products sound or look better. Reading reviews isn’t bad, but it only gives you the opinion of car reviewers and other people.
To truly get the feel for the car you want to buy, there’s nothing like taking it for a test drive. Most dealerships are open for test drives, and sometimes even recommend them. That way, if you don’t like how the car you plan on driving drives, the dealership can let you drive others. If a dealership is too far away from you, then you can ask a friend who has the same model you want to buy.
5. Rushing the paperwork process
When all is said and done, you’ll be rushing to sign the paperwork and complete the purchase. However, there’s one more thing you should always do. Read the contract, paperwork, and other materials to ensure that you have everything you need. Sometimes, dealerships forget to include add-ons that are supposed come free when purchasing the car.
Remain vigilant, even throughout this process. All of the terms and conditions can add up over time—especially if you’re looking to take out a loan. It’s important to keep your wits about you.
The process of buying a car may be difficult and exhausting. However, you won’t regret the effort that you put in making sure you didn’t waste money on a car you didn’t like—or the incredibly costly financial plan that you agreed to pay. A car that you regret buying simply becomes an eyesore in the driveway.
Buying the right car for the right price will feel amazing in the end. If you still aren’t confident enough to start the car hunt, you can always look back at this list to make sure that you never make a mistake. All that’s left now is for you to be confident in executing these deals.