best suv to buy in india

Undoubtedly, SUV cars have gained popularity in recent times. SUV cars provide comfort, luxury and are good to drive on Indian uneven roads. These cars are also popular amongst those who love off-road trips and explore untouched parts of the Indian landscape. In the recent past, the SUV car market has grown at a good pace and manufacturers have introduced quite a number of cars and their variants in the market. Listed below are the top selling SUV in india 2020 with their specification for you to make the right choice if you’re looking forward to buying the Best Suv To Buy In India soon.

best suv to buy in india

1. Hyundai Venue

According to a November 2019 report, Hyundai sold more than 51,000 units of its brand new SUV, Hyundai Venue in the first 6 months of its lifecycle. Launched in the market in May of the same year, this SUV revolutionised the utility vehicle market in India. Hyundai Venue was awarded the coveted Indian Car of the Year prize for 2020.

  • Ex-showroom Price – Ex-showroom price in Delhi ranges between Rs. 6.55 Lakhs and Rs. 11.15 Lakhs for the various Hyundai Venue models.
  • Mileage and Engine Cubic Capacity – The petrol variant offers a 998 CC engine with a fuel efficiency of 18.2 kmpl. The two diesel variants boast an 1197 CC and a 1396 CC engine, respectively, with a mileage of 23.7 kmpl.
  • Diesel or Petrol -Available in both Diesel and Petrol variants
  • Insurance Cost – Hyundai Venue Car Insurance by Digit starts from Rs. 14,015 (excl 18% GST). This includes a 1-year Own Damage cover + 3 years third party insurance.    
5 BEST VALUE FOR MONEY SUV CARS OF INDIA | BEST SUVS IN INDIA - YouTube

2. KIA Seltos

When listing out the top SUV in India, one cannot miss mentioning KIA Seltos. The Korean car manufacturer has highly impressed Indian consumers with this stylish SUV. Launched in August 2019, the vehicle comprises of a heads-up display, ventilated seats, and a Bose sound system. The feature-rich utility vehicle was awarded the Viewer’s Choice Car of the Year at the 2020 Autocar Awards.

  • Ex-showroom Price -Depending on the variant you pick, the Ex-showroom price for the Kia Seltos in Delhi ranges between Rs. 9.90 lakhs and Rs. 17.35 lakhs.
  • Mileage and Engine Cubic Capacity – Kia Seltos comes in three variants when it comes to the engine cubic capacity – 1353 CC, 1493 CC and 1497 CC. Expect mileage between 16 and 21 kmpl.
  • Diesel or Petrol -Available in both Diesel and Petrol variants
  • Insurance Cost – Kia Seltos Car Insurance by Digit starts from Rs. 47,016 (excl. 18% GST). This includes a 1-year own damage cover, along with 3 years of third-party liability protection.

3. Hyundai Creta

Another SUV from Hyundai, the Creta features a hexagonal grille. A touchscreen infotainment display also enhances the convenience for you while you are on the driver’s seat. This car also features a range of safety features, including stability control, safety windows, and impact sensing door unlock system. The Hyundai Creta won the Indian Car of the Year award in 2016.

  • Ex-showroom price -Hyundai Creta sports an ex-showroom price tag between Rs. 10 lakhs and Rs. 15.70 lakhs in New Delhi.
  • Mileage and Engine Cubic Capacity -Hyundai Creta’s various models sport three distinct cubic capacities – 1396 CC, 1582 CC and 1591 CC. The mileage is between 15.29 kmpl and 21.38 kmpl.
  • Diesel or Petrol -Available in both Diesel and Petrol variants
  • Insurance Cost -Hyundai Creta Car Insurance by Digit starts from Rs. 40,545 (excl. 18% GST). This includes a 1-year own damage cover plus 3 years of third-party liability insurance.

4. Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza premiered at the 2016 Auto Expo. Development on this utility vehicle began in 2011. One of the few sub-compact SUVs, Vitara Brezza, ensures performance that matches the reputation of the Maruti Suzuki brand. In the 2018 edition of the Tech and Auto Awards, Vitara Brezza was awarded the SUV/MPV of the year.

  • Ex-showroom Price -Vitara Brezza sports a starting Ex-showroom price of Rs. 7.63 lakhs, while the most superior variant costs Rs. 10.60 Lakhs.
  • Mileage and Engine Cubic Capacity -This car makes the top 10 SUV in India list due to its considerable engine capacity of 1248 cc. The vehicle is capable of delivering a mileage of 24 Kmpl.    
  • Diesel or Petrol -Available in only Diesel variantsbut Maruti is expected to launch a petrol model of this popular car soon.
  • Insurance Cost -Vitara BrezzaCar Insurance by Digit starts from Rs. 22,057 (excl. 18% GST). This includes a 1-year own damage cover plus 3 years of third-party liability insurance.
Upcoming compact SUVs in India: Compact SUV's to flood India in 2020, Auto  News, ET Auto

5. Mahindra XUV300

Mahindra XUV300 debuted in the market in February 2019. Its design is based on the SsangYong Tivoli, which was also an inspiration for some of Mahindra’s previous vehicles. The XUV 300 is another subcompact utility vehicle, with a six-speed manual transmission. Since its launch, the company also added an automatic variant of the car.

The Mahindra XUV300 is the safest India made vehicle, with a 5-star safety rating for adult passengers from the Global Car Assessment Program.

  • Ex-showroom Price -In Delhi, the car’s ex-showroom price starts from Rs. 8.30 lakhs and goes up to around Rs. 12.70 lakhs.
  • Mileage and Engine Cubic Capacity -Comes in two engine capacity variants, including 1197 cc and 1497 cc. Mileage ranges between 17 and 20 kmpl.
  • Diesel or Petrol -Available in both Petrol and Diesel variants
  • Insurance cost -The Mahindra XUV 300 Car Insurance by Digit starts from Rs. 20,975 (excl. 18% GST). This includes a 1-year own damage cover plus 3 years of third-party liability insurance.

6. Tata Harrier

Tata’s venture into the SUV market continued with the launch of the Tata Harrier in January 2019. Still, the Harrier became the first Tata SUV to sport the updated Impact 2.0 body design. If you buy this vehicle, you will enjoy a range of features, including rear parking sensors, projector headlamps, telescopic adjustable steering and much more.

Tata Harrier earned a nomination for the Design of the Year award in the Tech and Auto Awards 2019.

  • Ex-showroom Price -The base model sports an Ex-showroom price tag of Rs. 13.7 lakhs, while the premium model would cost around Rs. 20.25 lakhs.
  • Mileage and Engine Cubic Capacity -The vehicle sports a 1956 cc engine, capable of delivering a mileage of 17 Kmpl
  • Diesel or Petrol -Only Diesel variant available, but a Petrol model is expected to arrive soon.
  • Insurance Cost -The Tata Harrier Car Insurance by Digit starts from Rs. 36,430 (excl. 18% GST). This includes a 1-year own damage cover plus 3 years of third-party liability insurance.

7. Mahindra XUV500

The Mahindra XUV500 was one of the first utility vehicles in India. Launched in 2011, the XUV500 was marketed as the flagship vehicle from Mahindra & Mahindra. Since its release in the market, the car has undergone several updates and facelifts to help it compete with the newer SUVs.

The Mahindra XUV500 is one of the top-selling SUV in India and was even awarded the SUV/UV of the year at the 2012 Golden Steering Wheel Awards.

  • Ex-showroom Price -The ex-showroom price ranges between Rs. 12.30 lakhs and Rs. 18.60lakhs.
  • Mileage and Engine Cubic Capacity -The engine capacity for the car varies between 1997cc and 2179cc, while the listed mileage is 15 Kmpl.
  • Diesel or Petrol -Only a diesel variant was initially available, but a petrol model was launched later.
  • Insurance Cost – The Mahindra XUV 500 Car Insurance by Digit starts from Rs. 42,124 (excl. 18% GST). This includes a 1 year own damage cover plus 3 years of third-party liability insurance.

8. Tata Nexon

The Tata Nexon SUV was launched by the Indian auto manufacturer in 2017. The petrol variant comes with three cylinders, while the diesel models sport four 1.5-litre cylinders. In 2018, the Tata Nexon won the Subcompact SUV of the Year Award in the NDTV Car and Bike Awards.

  • Ex-showroom Price -The car’s Delhi ex-showroom price ranges between Rs. 6.95 lakhs and Rs. 12.70 lakhs.
  • Mileage and Engine Cubic Capacity -The engine capacity varies in the various models, with 1198cc and 1497cc being the two varieties. The mileage ranges between 17 Kmpl and 21 Kmpl.
  • Diesel or Petrol -Available in Diesel, Petrol and LPG variants
  • Insurance Cost – The Tata Nexon Car Insurance by Digit starts from Rs. 16,326 (excl. 18% GST). This includes a 1 year own damage cover plus 3 years of third-party liability insurance.

9. Jeep Compass

One of the more premium SUV offerings available in India, The Jeep Compass belongs to the highly reputable Fiat Chrysler Automobile brand. Although providing cutting edge technology, the fact that the Indian version is produced in India leads to limited price tags. Such is the popularity of the vehicle that it managed to amass around 26 awards across a variety of award ceremonies between 2017 and 2018.

  • Ex-showroom Price -The base model sports an ex-showroom price tag of Rs. 15.60 lakhs, while the premium model costs Rs. 25 lakhs.
  • Mileage and Engine Cubic Capacity -The engine capacity for the petrol model is 1368cc, and for the diesel variant, is 1956cc. You can expect a mileage of around 15-17 kmpl.
  • Diesel or Petrol -Available in both Diesel and Petrol variants
  • Insurance Costs -Jeep Compass Car Insurance by Digit starts from Rs. 26,434 (excl. 18% GST). This includes a 1-year own damage cover plus 3 years of third-party liability insurance.

10. Toyota Fortuner

Launched in 2009 in India, the Toyota Fortuner has undergone countless updates and facelifts since then. Increased luggage space and extensively adjustable driver seats make the Fortuner one of the best SUV in India. The vehicle sold 160,000 units in the country between 2009 and 2019.

  • Ex-showroom Price -The ex-showroom price varies as per the model, with the cost ranging between Rs. 28.18 lakhs and 34.20 lakhs.
  • Mileage and Engine Cubic Capacity -Two variants come with a 2694cc engine capacity and a 10.2 kmpl mileage. Another variant sports a 2755cc engine, delivering up to 14.24 kmpl.
  • Diesel or Petrol -Available in both Diesel and Petrol variants.

These are some of the best SUV cars in India at present. However, the market is set to further expand in 2020.     

How to find the Best SUV Car in India?

Choosing an SUV may seem like a difficult prospect, but it is anything but tricky. If you know that you want to acquire an SUV and not a hatchback or sedan, the following tips will help you pick the perfect car:

  • Evaluate your Requirements – You may have specific requirements from your vehicle. Enlisting these points should help you decide what you should look for in the market. For instance, if you like to travel with a lot of luggage, you should consider an SUV that sports sufficient trunk space. Similarly, if your primary need is fuel efficiency, pick a car that satisfies this need.
  • Consider Whether the Brand is Dependable and Efficient – Efficiency does not signify just the fuel efficiency of your chosen vehicle but also how well it can adapt to the various road conditions. For instance, if you reside in a flood-prone area, you should purchase SUVs that can endure waterlogging without leading to engine damage. The brand also matters. Don’t just feel that a globally recognised car brand is the best choice. Check whether the company offers enough authorised service centres in India. Lacking such support, you may need to rely on assistance from third-party service providers.
  • Prioritising Safety – Indian consumers often ignore the safety features, or the lack thereof, while investing in an SUV. However, you must remember that these are powerful vehicles capable of breakneck speeds. Without updated safety features, such as electronic brakes, rear parking sensors and others, your dream vehicle may suffer irreparable damage.

Moreover, you may be risking your life as well. Therefore, always check SUVs for the safety measures before purchasing. The best options generally, come bearing such features.

However, even with such measures in place, your car can suffer from accidents on the road. Opting for insurance should help you bear the financial liability for repairs after such accidental damage to the SUV.

What is a car buying website?

Sell a car yourself and you may well end up with a good price. However the actual process can be time-consuming and you’ll have to wade through the complexities of a private sale at every stage yourself.

From advertising the car, showing it to strangers, dealing with time-wasters and – when you’ve finally found a buyer – haggling over the price. Selling your car privately is likely to be both a long and arduous process.

Traditionally, the other way of selling a used car, has been to agree to a part-exchange or sale with a dealer.

This process might be a lot easier than selling it privately. However, dealers will be very unwilling to negotiate on price, and you may end up receiving a lot less for your car than you expected.

There’s also the option of selling it online at Auto Trader or eBay, or even auctioning it offline (if you have the right contacts) through companies such as British Car Auctions (BCA), Manheim or at local car auctions.

Yet here the price won’t be fixed, and you can easily end up going through a lot of trouble only to end up with less than you’d hoped to receive for your car.

Red car with measuring tape wrapping
Getting the best price for your car depends on numerous things, age being the most important.

However, a third option does exist. There are now numerous instant online car buyers.

In fact, the number of car buying websites has been continuously on the rise for the last decade or so.

As a result, many different buyers now offer a comprehensive, hassle-free alternative to the more traditional methods of selling your car with an online car valuation. Car buying sites have become the favoured method for many wanting to sell their used cars quickly.

These online companies offer to take much of the legwork out of the process of selling your car.

Yet what exactly is an online car buying website? What sort of service are these sites actually offering? And how does the process of selling your car through them work?

How do car buying websites work?

For the purpose of this explanation, an online car buying service is not the same as Auto Tradermotors.co.ukGumtree or eBay motors where you usually list your car for sale in a classified ad format.

While these sites do allow you to sell your car online, they work in a very different way to online car buying services.

Selling your car online through the likes of Gumtree or Auto Trader can be very time-consuming as you have to wait for customers to respond to your adverts and there is no guarantee they will at all.

Though it may end with you getting the best possible deal for your vehicle, there are no guarantees of attracting a buyer. You might end up frustrated and still in possession of your car after the whole admin-heavy affair.

A polaroid camera with a photo of a yellow car
Some used cars are best off being sold on Gumtree or eBay where you’ll make more money.

Online car buying services are very different. These are companies that bulk-buy used cars – they buy of all makes, brands and types in order to sell them off for a profit (usually at an auction or through a network of partner car dealers).

As a result, these companies aren’t fussy and are always looking to buy cars of any age, make or model.

Using an online car buying site removes a lot of the pressure and stress involved in selling your vehicle privately.

Rather than needing to appeal to a private buyer, online car buying sites offer you quick cash for your vehicle.

How to sell a car through online car buying sites

Many online car buying services claim to be able to buy any car out there.

All you have to do, is enter your car registration, along with some other details depending on which company you choose, and they’ll usually provide you with an instant free online valuation.

If that valuation is to your liking, you can choose to proceed, and arrange either a collection or drop off date.

Most companies will inspect your used car before providing a final offer, whereas others will provide a guaranteed offer over the phone as long as you give an accurate description of the car’s condition.

Some online car buying sites will also charge transaction fees, taking this off the final amount you receive for your car.

Are online car buying sites the best option for you?

Online car buying services are great if you’re looking to sell a car quickly and get the money as soon as possible.

However, though that sounds great, the downside is often the price you’ll be offered.

The way online car buyers make their profit is by selling the cars on to other traders (whether at auction or direct to dealers).

As a result, this does mean that they rarely offer the vehicle’s full retail value.

If you have the time and the energy to sell your vehicle privately, you may be able to achieve a higher price.

If you just want to sell your car quickly and don’t want the hassle involved in selling either privately, through a dealer or an auction, then these online car buyers offer a fast and easy solution.

Though the options when it comes to online car buying sites can be overwhelming, they all aim to make the process of selling quick.

As a result, they can free you up from many of the stresses involved in selling your car. It’s usually just a case of comparing prices and offers!

In the rest of this guide, we look at some of the most popular online car buying services…

Note: Some of the companies listed below are commercial partners of Motorway, some are not. For transparency we have clearly noted whether or not we have a commercial relationship with them.

Top 9 online car buying websites

1. We Buy Any Car

WeBuyAnyCar is not a commercial partner of Motorway.

webuyanycar

WeBuyAnyCar.com created the instant online car buying model in the UK and was founded in 2006. Years later and several catchy ad jingles mean they remain one of the most popular online car buying brands.

Customers can value their used cars online, and drop them off at any of their 200 branches for an inspection, before receiving a final offer.

Some fees may apply if you choose to go ahead.

Visit their website directly to get a valuation >

2. We Want Any Car

WeWantAnyCar is not a commercial partner of Motorway.

WeWantAnyCar has expanded over the last decade or so into one of the most popular online car buying sites in the UK, providing stiff competition to WeBuyAnyCar. It is part of Cox Automotive.

With an interactive “slider” on their website, they allow you to rate the condition your car when valuing it.

You can drop your car off at any of their branches, before receiving a final offer. Any additional fees will be taken out of the amount you receive.

Visit their website directly to get a valuation >

3. The Car Buying Group

The Car Buying Group is a commercial partner of Motorway.

Having only been around since 2014, The Car Buying Group is a new, fast expanding company that’s now part of Aston Barclay.

Though they have drop off centres across the UK, they also offer free home collection.

The Car Buying Group guarantee offers over the phone, providing you give an accurate description of the vehicle.

There are no additional fees, and they provide instant payments for any used car.

Compare offers from The Car Buying Group >

4. Best Car Buyer

Best Car Buyer is a commercial partner of Motorway.

Best Car Buyer

Best Car buyer are an interesting online car buying company and their proposition is quite differentiated.

Unlike other options in the space, they actually buy used cars directly from UK car owners via dealerships in the Motor Depot portfolio group of companies.

Like with Trusted Car Buyers, any cars bought by Best Car Buyer do not go to auction, but end up on Motor Depot forecourts across the UK.

Motor Depot operate as a car supermarket and retail any cars they purchase from Best Car Buyer directly to the public.

For you as a seller, this only matters because it means that their prices can be significantly higher by cutting out the middleman.

It’s not a rule of thumb, but this writer has seen online valuations from Best Car Buyer up to 10% higher than other rival online car buyers. For pricing reasons alone, they’re worth considering as a primary option. The cherry on the cake is that their review scores are excellent too.

Compare offers from Best Car Buyer >

5. Money 4 Your Motors

Money 4 Your Motors is not a commercial partner of Motorway.

money4yourmotors logo

Operating as a car buying division of car retailing giant Cox Automotive (Manheim), Money 4 Your Motors buy any car throughout the UK and collect cars from home addresses.

Headquartered in Birkenhead, they were one of the first competitors to rival WeBuyAnyCar.

They differentiated their service early on by offering a sales consultation on the phone before the transaction is agreed, which can save the seller time driving to a drop-off point to complete the sale.

Money 4 Your Motors pride themselves on their free inspection service and fast payment. You’ll receive your money before the car is taken away, so you can effectively sell your car from the street, your doorstep or your driveway.

Visit their website directly to get a valuation >

6. Car Converter

Car Converter is a commercial partner of Motorway.

Car Converter

Owned and operated by used car and salvage auction firm CoPart, Car Converter is a relatively new entrant to the online car buyer space.

Specialising in cars that are at the end of their life or have a level of damage which will limit their value to other traditional buyers, Car Converter will often buy cars that are difficult to sell elsewhere.

They will buy old, damaged and scrap cars and will collect from any UK home address. They’ll even buy motors that have failed their MOT or are ‘write-offs’ having been written off by insurance companies as unroadworthy.

Unlike most traditional online car buyers, they will buy cars that are classified by insurers as category A, B, C, D, S or N.

Potentially a ‘buyer of last resort’, they will nevertheless strive to offer a highly competitive price for cars that others will not want to purchase.

Compare offers from Car Converter >

7. CarTakeBack

CarTakeBack is a commercial partner of Motorway.

CarTakeBack

CarTakeBack.com specialise in buying old, scrap and junk cars. The UK’s largest scrap network, they offer competitive prices for all types of cars that are better off being recycled or broken up for parts.

If your car is beyond repair or at the end of its life, they’re a good buyer for your vehicle. Unconcerned with getting ‘retail margin’ selling to dealers, they will buy cars that many online buyers don’t want to buy.

Like Car Converter, they don’t mind if the car you’re selling is damaged or faulty and they’ll buy vehicles that have been written off and given a status from across the insurance write-off category spectrum.

With instant quotes and fast pick up, their car buying service is quick and hassle free, and unlike many local scrap buyers, they’ll collect from any home address.

They also have over 300 branches across the UK if you would prefer to drive to a drop-off location to complete the sale.

Compare offers from CarTakeBack>

8. Evans Halshaw

Evans Halshaw is a commercial partner of Motorway.

Evans Halshaw logo

Evans Halshaw are one of the most recognisable names in the UK automotive industry. Part of Pendragon PLC, the second largest motor retailer in the UK, they are one of the largest groups of franchised dealers in the country.

As a result, Evans Halshaw are able to cut out the middlemen involved when selling to an online buyer. Subsequently, they have become a popular option for those looking to sell a car to a dealer. 

They now have an option of valuing your car and booking appointments online. 

Though they currently don’t provide home collection, they have over 80 drop off locations across the UK, meaning you simply have to take it to your nearest one. There are no fees involved, but you can pay £15 if you want same-day payment.   

Compare offers from Evans Halshaw using Motorway today by clicking here. 

Compare offers from Evans Halshaw>

9. Arnold Clark

Arnold Clark is a commercial partner of Motorway.

Arnold Clark logo

Arnold Clark started with a showroom in Glasgow, and turned his passion for cars into the largest private company in Scotland, and made him the UK’s first billionaire car dealer. 

Founded in 1954, it now has over 200 branches across the UK. The Arnold Clark Group has become a very popular choice for people looking either to buy or sell a car. 

They too now have an online system for customers looking to sell quickly. They allow customers looking to sell to value their car and book an appointment online. 

There are no fees involved, and once the sale has been agreed, the payments are processed within 3 working days.

Important Tips for Buying a Car

Follow these tips for buying a new car, beginning well before you ever set foot in a dealership or complete your online vehicle purchase.

1. Do Your Research

The most important thing to know before you buy a car is that knowledge is power. It’s a mistake to arrive at a car lot without first researching the car you want to buy. You can find out just about anything you want to know about a car online. Edmunds.comConsumer Reports, and Kelley Blue Book are great places to start researching cars in your price range.

Also, if you are considering buying a new car, your goal is to find the “invoice” price of the car, not the MSRP. The “invoice” price is what the dealer paid the manufacturer for the car. This research will come in handy once the price negotiations begin.

On the other hand, if you are thinking about buying a used car, research the recent resale prices for that specific car model. This data will give you major bargaining power. If you plan to trade in your current car, research market values for your vehicle, too. Knowing the value of your trade-in can also be a powerful bargaining tool.

2. Look into Pre-financing Options

Many people obtain financing from the car dealership, but this isn’t fiscally responsible. Dealership interest rates are typically much higher than loan rates obtained from banks and credit unions, even in a low-rate environment. Your bank or credit union is one of the best places to start researching car loan rates, and you can obtain “relationship discounts” that you won’t find anywhere else.

To source multiple financing quotes at once, use an aggregator like LendingTree, which compares up to five competing quotes at once. Use Credit Karma to check your credit score beforehand and get a sense of the interest rate you’re likely to qualify for. If your score comes in lower than you’d like, consider putting your car purchase on the back burner and working to rebuild your credit and pay off debt. While you’re at it, sign up for Experian Boost, a free program that may boost credit scores derived from your Experian credit report by considering beneficial information that usually has no impact on your credit score, like on-time utility payments.

Once you obtain a quote from any financial institution, get the quote in writing. You can then present this quote to the dealership and use it as leverage to negotiate a lower interest rate.Compare Quotes for Car Insurance in 45 secondsNo long forms. No fees. No spam.GOPowered by

3. Shop Around

beautiful young couple standing at the dealership choosing car

Unless there is an emergency situation, shop around before you buy a car. I have an established rule in place whenever I shop for a car: I always make sure that I walk out of at least one dealership. This way, I always know their rock-bottom price, often given to me just before I leave.

It might also make sense to explore out-of-town car dealerships. Dealerships price their vehicles differently depending upon their location.

Once you’ve settled on your vehicle make and model and know where you plan to purchase the car, use a reputable valuation resource like TrueCar to arrive at an accurate estimate of what you should actually pay for your new or used car. Double-check TrueCar’s pricing using at least one other reputable resource, like Kelley Blue Book. Both TrueCar and KBB (and some of their competitors) sell new and used cars, either directly or through partnerships with dealerships and direct-to-consumer sellers.

4. Utilize the Internet

It’s easier than ever to buy a car online, and the process has three significant benefits.

First, you completely avoid the hassle of dealing with annoying car salesmen. This is a self-evident benefit for many car buyers and could help you avoid a misstep that results in your paying more than you should.

Relatedly, you could end up with a much better final price due to the fundamentally different incentives inherent in the online car-buying process. Consider this: A salesperson on the showroom floor is trying to negotiate the highest price possible, since their commissions are based on a percentage of the sale price. On the other hand, an Internet sales manager typically makes a fixed salary and gets paid a bonus, based on volume.

Finally, purchasing a car online is more convenient than visiting multiple dealerships. At this point, virtually all reputable dealerships list current inventory on their websites and third-party sites, and they welcome Internet sales. And, as we’ve seen, non-dealer outlets like TrueCar, KBB, eBay Motorsand their direct-to-consumer sales partners are all excellent options with impressive new and used car inventories. You can also find used cars for sale on Craigslist, but be mindful of common Craigslist scams).

Fair warning: If you do decide to buy a used car online, you’ll still want to test drive the car and have it checked by a mechanic to make sure there are no issues or problems.

5. Buy a Car You Can Afford

If you are considering buying another car before your current vehicle is paid off, you need to seriously reassess whether or not you can really afford to buy another car. You don’t want to be saddled with an upside down car loan.

A much better option is to wait until your current vehicle is paid off. Then set aside the money that used to pay for your monthly car payment in an interest-bearing account for one year, while continuing to drive your old car.

For example, if your previous car payment was $300 a month and you follow this strategy for just one year, you will then have more than $3,600 to use as a down payment on your next car. Just make sure that you’re not digging into your savings or your emergency fund to buy a top-of-the-line car. Buy within your means.

Pro Tip: If you’re not going to be driving your car every day, you can sign up for Turo. Turo is a car-sharing platform that allows you to earn extra money, helping you cover your monthly car payment, just by sharing it with other drivers. Sign up for Turo and see how much you could earn.

6. Negotiate Terms

To me, buying a car is either a chess match, or it’s a war. Next to buying a house, purchasing a new car is one of the most important investments you will make in life. In fact, you may be paying off this car for the next four, five, or six years.

Let the salespeople know up front that you’re not going to be taken for a ride. Do everything you can do to negotiate the car loan and knock the purchase price down. Start with a ridiculous number, and work backwards. If the salesperson gives you an offer that includes a monthly payment of a certain amount based on a 60-month loan, tell them you want the same payment with a 48-month loan.

Walk into the dealership with confidence, stick to your guns, and don’t feel bad about walking away from any offers.  It might also be helpful to practice your negotiation strategies and tactics to prepare.

7. Look at Both New and Used Cars

Buying a gently used car is regarded by many as the best way to save money when purchasing a vehicle. The logic here is that new cars depreciate considerably the moment they are taken home from the dealership.

In reality, buying a used car isn’t always the smartest choice from a financial standpoint. Used car pricing is sensitive to supply and demand, which can vary regionally, and to macroeconomic conditions (with used car prices tending to increase when the economy is weak).

Bottom line: Don’t write off a new car entirely, especially if you plan to hold onto your vehicle for the long term. Most depreciation occurs during the first five years of ownership, after which the net cost of ownership (of which depreciation is a major factor) declines significantly. The gap between the final lifetime cost of a gently used car retailing for $20,000 and a similar new car retailing for $25,000 isn’t as wide as you’d think.

8. Buy Based on Purchase Price, Not on Monthly Payments

Car dealers are notorious for offering a very attractive monthly payment to potential buyers. Do not be misled. If this “wonderful” payment is attached to a 72-month loan, then it’s really not that attractive at all.

Be sure to always negotiate based on the purchase price of the car, and not the monthly payment. Also make sure that you know the “full” purchase price of any car that you buy. There could be many extra, hidden costs factored into the price including various taxes, car preparation and delivery fees, and dealership costs that you won’t know about unless you ask.

9. Don’t Mention Your Trade-In or Special Discounts, If Any

You should play your cards close to you in all aspects of the car-buying process, especially when it comes to mentioning your trade-in. Do not mention your trade-in until the end of the buying process. Why? The dealer will likely use this information against you.

For example, let’s say you’re looking at a $22,000 car and the dealer’s rock-bottom price for the car you’re considering is $18,000 (although he won’t share this information with you). If you have a trade-in worth $2,000, the dealer might offer to give you the car for $20,000 plus the additional $2,000 for the trade-in, for a total purchase price of $18,000.

If you hadn’t mentioned your trade-in, you could have negotiated the price down to $18,000 and then told the dealer about the trade-in, resulting in a final purchase price of $16,000. Negotiate these two aspects of the car-buying process separately. First, negotiate the best possible deal you can get for the car you want to buy, then go to work on getting the most for your trade-in.

Likewise, don’t mention any special discounts you bring to the dealership. While this situation is less common, it does come into play for those who work in the auto industry – for example, autoworkers and their families typically qualify for very attractive “employee pricing” on new cars made by their employers – and for GM BuyPower credit card holders, whose accumulated rewards can dramatically reduce the net cost of a new car.

10. Factor in Insurance Costs

Factor costs for car insurance premiums into the purchase price of your car. The cost of insuring a car is a major factor in the overall cost of the vehicle. Get insurance premium quotes online from Allstate or Liberty Mutual. You’ll provide information about the car’s make and model and personal information including age, marital status, and driving record.

Sports cars have higher premiums than conventional cars, but some cars have higher insurance rates for other reasons as well. For example, the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and the Toyota Camry are favorites among car thieves because of their higher resale values, and the insurance premiums for these cars can thus be more expensive.

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