There are several factors one should consider before buying a car. Having a vehicle has become a necessity because life has changed much. Nowadays, everyone wants to achieve convenience in commuting, and that comes with owning a car. In this article, you will learn about the Top things you must consider before buying a new car, what to check when buying a new car, most important things when buying a car and what to consider when buying a car for the first time.
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what to consider when buying a car for the first time
Buying a new car? Top things you must consider
Many car salespeople may pressure you to leave the lot with a purchased vehicle, so it’s crucial you’re armed with information about the cars you are interested in, the budget you can afford, and the value of your trade-in — if you have one. With these details, you have all the tools you need to negotiate properly.
Here are 10 tips and strategies for making sure you get the best-quality vehicle at the lowest price.
1. Think about financing
Prior to visiting any dealership, have a sense of what kind of deposit you can put down and what monthly payment you can afford. It also helps to do some research on available auto loans to get a sense of what you qualify for. Or try a service like AutoGravity, which allows you to select rates and terms that fit your budget and then obtain offers from lenders.
2. Check your credit score
Knowing your credit score can be helpful as well. Justin Lavelle, chief communications officer for BeenVerified, says, “Having a good idea of your credit report and credit score and the interest rates available can help you negotiate a good deal and save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.”
3. Shop around
Research the cars you might be interested in before you head to a dealership, rather than going in unprepared. To determine what kind of car you want, use resources like US News Best Cars, where you can search anything from “best cars for families” to “best used cars under 10k.” Another resource is Autotrader, which can be used to search new and used cars in your area by make, model, price, body style, and more.
4. Compare prices
Lavelle also stresses getting detailed pricing info in advance: “Price the car at different dealerships and use online services to get invoice and deal pricing.” A reliable tool is Kelley Blue Book. Use the site’s car value tool to find out the MSRP and the dealer invoice of a car as well as a range of prices you can expect to see at dealerships. TrueCar is also helpful to use. You can search for and request pricing on any make, model, or year of car. You may get a slew of phone calls, emails, and texts from dealers immediately after, but having information from different dealerships can help you negotiate prices. You should also visit dealer sites to look for rebate offers.
5. Research your trade-in’s value
If you have a trade-in, don’t wait for the salesperson to tell you what it’s worth. On Kelley Blue Book, you can get a sense of the value ahead of time so you know if you’re receiving a good offer. Or try the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer feature, where dealers will give you a guaranteed price for a trade, eliminating complicated haggling at the dealership.
6. Test drive potential purchases
You may want to pass on the test drive if you’re familiar with a particular make and model, but Lavelle recommends taking the time to do it anyway. “It is a good idea to inspect the car and give it a good test drive just to make sure all is working and there are no noticeable squeaks, rattles, or shimmies that could cause you headaches after your purchase,” he says.
7. Look at car histories
Before selecting dealerships to visit, search for consumer reviews so you can avoid having a bad experience. However, Lavelle warns that just because a car sits on a reputable, well-reviewed lot does not necessarily mean that the car is issue-free. So he recommends digging deeper, especially for used cars. “Services like CARFAXrepresent that they can tell you about the car’s life from first purchase forward, so that might be a good place to start,” he says. He also recommends checking the title, which you can do online via the DMV.
- Find repair records
In addition to checking the repair history on the specific car you are interested in, Autotrader suggests looking up the repair record of the make and model. “Check J.D. Power and Consumer Reports reliability ratings to see if the vehicle you’re considering is known to be a reliable one,” the site states. It also recommends Internet forums and word of mouth.
9. Spring for an inspection
Autotrader also suggests telling the seller you require an inspection from a mechanic before purchase to ensure there aren’t any problems. “While a mechanic may charge $100 or more for such an inspection, it can be worth it if it saves you from thousands of dollars in potential repairs,” it recommends. Some sellers may try to dismiss a mechanic’s inspection. Don’t give in — the seller could be covering up a serious issue with the car. Insist an inspection is done, or rethink your purchase.
10. Know your rights
For any new or used car, take the time to get familiar with the warranty package and return policies. Do you need to supplement the warranty? Is there a lemon law in your state? Currently, there are only six states that have one, so be sure to check.
Shopping for a car can be frightening, but with the right research and preparation, you won’t have any regrets.
People will purchase a used car for a very obvious reason: it’s cheaper than a new one. Anyone who has a tight family budget appreciates the need to save a little cash wherever possible. Used cars are not necessarily poor quality vehicles. Many have durable engines provide service for many yearsafter purchase. Before going out to buy a used car, you should consider the following so that you make the best possible decision:
1. Determine a range of cost. Before you even get started, you should decide how much you are willing to spend on the car. You also should have an idea of how the transaction is going to be financed (e.g., through the car dealership, bank loan, credit union, etc.). Make certain that your cost range includes incidentals such as extra parts, or any possible inspections
2. Always test drive the car. You need to spend some time behind the wheel of the car you are thinking of buying. This allows you to have an idea of how the car responds to you as a driver. Ask that the test drive include the highway, a side street, and areas where cornering or turning will be necessary
3. Research the vehicle. The Internet allows you a great opportunity to find out more about the model of car before you purchase it. Kelly’s Blue Book is an excellent source of information and any consumer boards on the Web can give you an idea of what to look out for in a given model
4. Consider the Cars Best Suited for You. Your inner child may want a sharp looking sports car but your family might need an SUV. The used car that you purchase has to be what best fits your lifestyle and your needs
5. Review the Vehicle History Report. The used car has a back story to it that cannot be ignored. There may be evidence of serious internal damage of the vehicle included in the report. Carfax is one of the best sources for a vehicle history report. Do not hesitate to use it
6. Request a Pre-purchase Inspection. Let the trained Mechanic take a look at the car before the purchase is made. This does not mean that the seller is trying to deliberately pass a lemon on to you; the seller may not know about some of the problems. The pre-purchase inspection can uncover some difficulties underneath the hood
7. Take a Look at Some of the Reviews. There are number of auto related websites that have reviews of various models, including used cars. It’s a little bit more consumer education to check these reviews but will be well worthwhile
8. Do Not Hesitate To Negotiate. The sticker price doesn’t have to be the final cost. The used car dealer is willing to negotiate a little bit. Be certain that you understand there is just so good of a deal. You can’t get but do not hesitate to try to achieve it
9. Validate Ownership. This is particular true if you’re dealing with an individual and not dealership. Make sure that whoever is selling the car to you is in fact the real owner
10. Complete the Transaction. This means more than just shaking hands across the table. You need to make sure that all the paperwork is in order and that any title information, warranties, or anything that relates to the purchase of the used car are there. It is understandable at this point in time you may a little bit fatigued and want to get things finished. Take your time. The old adage “marry in haste, repent at leisure” holds true in this situation. You do not want any surprises to spring up after the money has changed hands.
A used car is an affordable vehicle that can provide the transportation you need to get to work or go on vacation. The closer it fits your needs the more use you’re going to get out of the automobile. Shopping for use car takes the same amount of patience and caution you exercise when you are looking for a brand-new model. The prudence that you show is going to have its benefits later on. You will end up with an automobile that is just right for you and provides the kind of transportation you want to have.
So you want to buy a car? Excellent! But a car is one of the most significant purchases in your life, and one you want to make sure get right.
Whether it’s a commuter, an extension of your personality, or for work, the options available are more plentiful and varied than ever before.
To make sure you get the right car for the right price, research and preparation is key.
Here are 11 questions you should answer before you take the plunge.
What sort of car do I want?
Wants, as you know, are different to needs.
Luxury and next-generation technology is on a lot of people’s lists, but a basic A-to-B car is often more realistic. Digital radio might be nice, but FM can suffice to save a few bucks. Do you need a built-in sat-nav if other devices do the job?
Cars come with all manner of options these days. Work out what’s crucial and what’s a sweetener.
What sort of car do I actually need?
Think about the core features you require from the car and the type of driving you’ll be doing with it and then ask big questions.
Is it for the family? Is it for work? Is it to take you to the shops and back? Will it tow the caravan? Is it cheap to run and maintain? Is it all of the above? Does it need to be?
What is my budget for a new car?
If you think smart and do your research, you should be able to land the car you want for the right price. You may hear of a brand-new sedan being sold at a base price of $40,000 but to get everything you want the costs can blow out by thousands.
Instead, a car that costs a bit more and comes with everything as standard may be a better and cheaper option for you.
What car finance do I need?
Is this a trade? Do you have the cash in the bank or do you need to get a loan? Should you lease it? What finance does the car company offer and is that a cheaper package deal?
Get the calculator out and see where you stand financially. And before you enter a dealership and get ready to seal the deal, work out how you’re going to pay for the car and have it ready to go.
How long am I keeping this car?
Whether you’re the kind of person who upgrades cars every few years or plan on keeping the new ride in the family for years to come, servicing, long-term warranties and resale value are factors to consider.
Is it worth spending a little more today to save a heap down the line for your needs?
Auto or manual? Petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric?
This is for the purists out there – even though it’s increasingly a question you don’t even get the chance to ask. Know the answer before you get too attached to models that don’t have the option.
What sort of car maintenance and insurance can I afford?
Will the service costs meet your budget? Does the insurance premium go up or down because of your lifestyle? Go online and get some quotes and toggle the options.
Where should I go for a new car?
Your local dealer is the most logical option, but it’s worth looking throughout your region to see what else is around.
Establishing a relationship with the right dealer and service department could be worth hundreds over the life of your car.
How many cars should I test?
Once you have narrowed down your focus to what you think ticks the most boxes, head to the dealers and arrange a test drive.
Try to book the car for 24 hours if you can so it’s thoroughly tested. If you have five candidates on your list, test all five. If it’s more or less, so be it.
Even if the second car you drive feels like the right one, it’s not worth writing the others off. Confirmation by trying a few more never hurts. And knowledge of rival products could be a boon when negotiating.
Does the car have a roadworthy certificate?
This may seem like an obvious question with an obvious answer when talking about new cars, but unless your new car has never been registered, it will require a roadworthy certificate.
This applies to second hand cars, as well as ex-demos. Most dealers will – as a default – ensure the car has a current RWC, but it’s worth a question just for peace of mind.
How do I get the best deal?
Research and a little bit of timing can do you some favours here. Check out CarAdvice regularly for the latest news and reviews.
If you’re absolutely certain what you want and aren’t fussed on timing or particular options, time can be your friend. As the calendar year ticks over, dealers will often sell cars built the previous year for a discount or with extras included in the price.
Otherwise it’s worth thinking about your negotiating skills. You may not be able to talk down the price of a car given its margins, but if you can get a discount on servicing, options or spares, you’re still saving money.
And, let’s face it, who doesn’t love landing a good deal?