Planned or unplanned, it’s time to buy a new car. In some ways, this is good news is it means you can get your next car before interest rates go any higher. However, some of us don’t have much of a choice – especially when you’re buying a new car is due to the negligence of another driver.
Regardless of the reason why you are in the market for a new set of wheels, the process doesn’t need to be overwhelming. In fact, it can be downright simple and this article will give you some pointers on how to approach buying a new car.
- Get Online
In the days before the internet one would have to spend days visiting their area dealers to view cars and check out the options. Not only was this time consuming but it was also a major hassle as the salespeople at each dealer would ask the same questions – repeatedly.
As you can imagine, this is not the best way to buy a car and for that reason going online is a car buyer’s best friend. Doing so allows you to research the cars you are interested in and to check out what options are available. In addition, you can check out the details for cars loans and insurance – something which will save you time and money later.
One more thing to know about going online to research is which sites to use. For starters, you’ll want to go to the manufacturer’s as many sitesoffer interactive tools to look at your new car from every angle and with every option. In addition, you can check out sites for reviews on the cars you are considering – such as this review of the new Honda Insight.
- Sort Out Your Loan
As mentioned above, you want to go online to check out the loan options available for you. While this can be a big help you might also want to reach out to your bank to see what options they have for you as well. By getting your loan pre-approved before you go the dealer you will know how you are going to pay for your new car well in advance.
Even if you are buying a new car because your previous vehicle was totaled by your insurer, you still want to make sure you are pre-approved for your loan as odds are the settlement from your insurance company won’t cover the entire cost of a new car.
- Let’s Make a Deal
If you are planning to trade-in your old car, then you will want to do some research before heading to the dealers. This will include looking up the book value of your car and also research how much car is currently selling for on the open market.
Granted, a dealer I probably not going to give you the same value in trade-in as they will sell a car but you never know and as such, you want to check out the prices in your market as this will help you to negotiate a better deal.
- Test Drive the Car(s) You Are Interested In
You’ve narrowed down your selection to a few cars and the next step is to actually drive them. The reason is simple, as you might like the way a car looks but once you get into it, you might that it is uncomfortable or it doesn’t handle like you thought it would.
However, not every dealer will let you test drive a car and as such, you’ll want to confirm which dealers do and if the car they have for a test drive matches the exact version of the vehicle you are interested in. Sure, the exact color doesn’t matter, but the interior options and the engine size should be the same – if not then your test drive won’t be that accurate.
- Is the Price, Right?
You’ve done your homework, you know the trade in value of your old car, you even have a loan pre-approved, and you’ve gone for a test drive. Now comes the fun part – negotiating the sales price.
Let’s face it, your sales person’s commission depends on how much they can sell your car for and as such, they really don’t like it when potential buyers know how much a car is worth. However, this doesn’t mean that you should take the dealer’s ‘best offer’.
Instead, you will need to negotiate and this can include looking at service options and the length of the warranty – both of which will save you money while you own your new vehicle. As such, be prepared, know how much your car of choice is selling for and then hold your ground as the dealer probably needs you more than you need them.