Avoid Regretting Your New Car Purchase with These 4 Tips
No matter how many times you’ve done it, buying a car can be a nerve-racking process. Many car shoppers feel overwhelmed and stressed because they’re scared to make the wrong decision or ask the wrong questions. New cars are a large investment, so these are fair feelings for any potential buyer to have.
What if we told you that your car buying process could be much easier? It’s all about familiarizing yourself with each step and knowing what to say and do when it finally comes time to visit the dealership. If you’re shopping for new cars for sale in Houston or anywhere else, avoid these pitfalls to improve your car buying experience and minimize the stress and anxiety that comes with a new car purchase.
#1 – Being Unprepared
A new car is a large investment and a big financial commitment. Most buyers need some time to prepare for their new car purchase. While many dealerships will assist you in obtaining financing, understanding your financial obligations, and pairing you with the perfect car for your needs, they won’t look out for you like you can.
Set a budget for what you are able to spend on your vehicle, making sure to consider other expenses and be realistic with your finances. Once your budget is set, do your own research and determine the type of vehicle you want that will also fit within your budget. Make sure to consider how many people you’ll be driving, what your car will be used for the most, the type of weather your vehicle will endure, among many other factors that will help determine what type of car you need.
#2 – Not Knowing Your Current Car’s Value
If you’re planning on trading in your current vehicle, it’s a huge mistake to visit a dealership without knowing how much your car is worth. Not only is the trade-in value a big part of negotiating, but it also provides you with a figure to use when calculating how much you can afford in a new car.
Pro Tip: Your perceived value of your vehicle is not always aligned with the actual value of the car. Use a tool like Kelley Blue Book to determine the most accurate value, while also being conservative with those numbers – especially if you’re a smoker or have had other interior damage.
#3 – Skipping the Test Drive
No matter what a dealer says about a car, its reviews, or any other positive reinforcement you might hear, you must always take your potential new car for a test drive. Many drivers have found that a car looks pristine inside and out, runs well, and is even equipped with nice features, but it just isn’t for them.
A test drive is how you really get a feel for the vehicle. Pay attention to the fit, comfortability, visibility, and other important factors to decide if it’s the vehicle for you. Additionally, pay close attention to the handle and responsiveness of the car. Ask yourself if it matches your preferences. This could be your car, so you’ll want to love it. Leave no stone unturned in the evaluation process.
Don’t skip the test drive, even if just for a short distance. We recommend a longer journey that also includes highway driving, but at the very least, make sure to give it a whirl around the neighborhood.
#4 – Basing Your Buying Decision on Monthly Payment Alone
Many buyers make this mistake. It’s easy to see a low monthly payment and jump at it because you want to save as much money as possible each month. In reality, the big picture is much more important and you should actually base your decision on the full sale price.
Small monthly payments should only be considered if your current financial situation requires it. Over the life of your car loan, you’ll spend less money with a shorter repayment window, but monthly payments are generally slightly higher. Before visiting the dealership, set your budget based on the full sale price. Negotiating on monthly payments can lead to higher interest and more money spent in the long run.
Your Car Buying Process Should Be Smooth!
Follow our advice and learn from the mistakes of previous stressed out car shoppers. Buying your new car will be a smooth and exciting process if you do the work and set your expectations correctly. Additionally, you’ll want to work with one of the best dealerships in your area for the best results. Perform a Google search for “car dealerships near me” or “cars for sale near me” to discover options and use reviews, prices, and location to narrow your search.