If you’re looking to purchase a new car, you probably want to go into the decision-making process with a clear idea of what to consider and look out for. It’s important to balance your wants and needs while shopping around.
It helps to know what to expect so you can make the most out of your new purchase. Take the time to look through this critical checklist of five things to consider when buying a new car to ensure that you make the best possible purchase!
1. Choose the right car first
While you’re looking to choose the right car for you, make sure that you weigh affordability against what you want in a new vehicle. You can save a great deal of money by narrowing your search to slightly older models or rejecting ones that have flashy but unnecessary features. Contemplate the primary purpose your new car will serve, since this will determine the size, fuel efficiency, and features you’ll need.
Decide upon the brand or type of car you want, and then refine your search by comparing a variety of appealing models. Even if you have a brand preference, it’s not a bad idea to step outside that comfort zone. Compare similar models from a different brand, and you may find a more cost-effective solution.
2. Check the add-ons
Once you’ve chosen your ideal car and head in to make your purchase, most car dealers will try to sell you a menagerie of extra add-ons. These can include anything from anti-theft devices and alarm systems to window tinting.
Your first step in tackling add-ons is to call ahead to your dealership before buying anything and asking which add-ons come already fitted on your ideal car. Then you can be armed with what is included and if the additional options appeal to you or if you would rather save money by taking care of them yourself later on.
Keep in mind that sometimes, your choices will be limited. If the dealership has already tinted the car’s windows or replaced the car’s factory security system, then you’ll have a hard time avoiding these being added to the price of the vehicle.
3. Test drive the car
This should go without saying, but always test drive a vehicle before buying it! The best way to get a feel for the car and develop a sense of whether it’s truly right for you is to get behind the wheel and experience it yourself.
Prepare ahead of time by looking up reviews and feedback online before you go in for a test drive. This can reveal common issues or red flags to watch out for. A test drive can help you get a preliminary sense of what to expect from the car.
Don’t forget to test drive the car in as many different conditions as you can. Get a feel for the car during acceleration as well as in stop-and-go traffic. Pay especially close attention to how things feel when you’re in certain environments where you’ll be driving your car the most.
4. Know your budget and stick to it
Let’s be honest: any recommendations made by a salesperson should be taken with a grain of salt. Compare their recommendations against the budget that you have already committed to before going to the dealership.
You’ll no doubt feel pressured to purchase a newer model or extra features, including seemingly practical perks like an extended warranty. However, while these things might seem more appealing while they’re being up-sold in the heat of the moment, you must stick to your budget.
Can you really afford extras or a different model that’s slightly newer than what you originally had in mind? Will they really increase your happiness with your purchase enough to justify the expense?
5. Do your research and negotiate the price
Make sure you go into the dealership well prepared, having researched the usual pricing options for the car you intend to buy. State your price limit upfront in order to somewhat reduce the chances of a salesperson trying to push you outside your budget, and don’t be afraid to haggle for a lower price.
Know which features are considered standard for the model you’re looking to buy, and know how much the same vehicle would cost elsewhere so that you can bargain for a lower price match if possible.
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Shopping for a new car is a sizable financial commitment, and it can be both exciting and taxing to navigate. Refer back to this critical checklist for five things to consider when buying a new car to make your purchase with confidence.
Make sure you’ve chosen the right car for you and check into which available add-ons you need. Never forego an opportunity to test drive the car and arrive well-prepared, having researched what to expect in terms of performance and price.
Lastly, make sure that you know your financial limits and stick to your budget in order to keep expense-related stress from compromising your enjoyment of your new car!