You are wondering what to consider when buying a car? It is a hectic process when you are a first-time buyer. Check these 5 key tips to buying your first car!
In 2019, 4.7 million cars were sold in the United States, making it one of the most popular large-purchase items.
Choosing to invest in a new car is a big decision but often a necessary one to expand your freedom of travel.
If this is your first time buying a car it can be overwhelming as a lot of time and money goes into it.
Read on to see what to consider when buying a car.
1. Set a Budget
One of the most important things to do before buying a car is to decide on how much you can spend.
A budget will gauge what type of car you can afford. So, you won’t waste your time looking at a car you can’t even buy.
First, decide whether you can afford a new or used car. A used car will be cheaper, however, it involves more research to ensure its safety. New cars are fresh from the manufacturer and have very little mileage, so expect them to run smoothly.
If you choose a new car, then you may need to consider financing. Chances are that you don’t have enough cash to purchase the car in full. Determine how much of a down payment you can make and what monthly payment is reasonable.
Second, check your credit score to see your borrowing power. Your bank or a financial lender will look at your credit score and history to decide if you are a reliable borrower.
They will also set your interest rate and monthly payments based on your credit, so if it is bad then consider raising it before buying a car.
2. Research Online
Once you know your budget then know what to look for when buying a car by doing an initial search online.
Browse several websites to compare prices, models, and features. Looking at cars before you visit a dealership will make you more knowledgeable about your desires and cars in general.
Some dealers may start emailing and calling you as you do your research since you may need to add contact information to view car prices. Don’t let this distract you from your work.
Make a list of your potential models, their fair market price range, and the features you require like built-in GPS, satellite radio, or bucket seats.
3. Take a Test Drive
After getting a good idea of your desired car online it is time to go to the dealership. It is important to go without the intention of buying the first car you see.
Use this time to test drive the cars you found online. They may feel or look different in person. Also, this is your chance to see if there is anything wrong with the car.
The more you test drive the more experienced you will become with knowing what feels off. Do you hear brakes squeaking? Is the gear getting stuck in third? Are these serious problems and are these characteristics of the model?
Ask questions during this time as well, but remember that not all answers will be honest or straightforward. Car dealers want to sell you a car to make a commission, so take their responses as a starting point to do your own research.
Review several dealerships to see which salesperson is the most honest, patient, and knowable about the car. Start to eliminate bad cars and dealerships as you narrow down your search.
4. Look at Accident and Repair History
What to know when buying a car that has been on the road before? There’s a lot that you might not see just by looking at the car.
Once you find a few cars that you like it is time to ask for an accident and repair history. Not every dealership will give you this, so you might have to go online yourself.
You can get a history report from Carfax online for free or look it up using the car’s title, if you have it, at the DMV for a more complete police report.
Reviewing the car’s history will provide insight into its current condition. Even if repairs were done there can be underlying issues with the car.
You can also find out if the car possesses new parts in the engine or body. This may be to your advantage if you are buying a used car that is older. A new transmission, for example, will put years of life onto a used car.
The model of the car might have common problems that you should be aware of. Look up specific make and model repairs using J.D. Power and Consumer Reports to see if a particular car is susceptible to certain ailments.
5. Don’t Feel Pressured
When car shopping, you don’t want to rush into something that you will regret. Purchased cars lose value as soon as they leave the lot, so you will be out of luck if you need to return it for any reason.
Many dealerships offer a warranty that might cover major defaults to the car but this may only last 30 or 60 days. After that time period, you are on your own.
Buying the right car takes time. You might feel eager to buy one so that you can get around town, however you do have other options.
Use these services to get personal assistance with your travel needs while you search for the perfect car.
What to Consider When Buying a Car to Stay Stress-free
When you think of what to consider when buying a car a lot comes to mind. Not only is there a lot of money to spend, but there are also many cars to choose from.
The most important thing to do is to stay calm during the process. Only spend what you can and don’t let anyone else tell you which car to buy.
Visit more of our blog to get more tips and tricks to make your buying experience pleasant and rewarding.