From make and model to MPG, there is a lot to consider when purchasing a vehicle. Before heading to the dealership, walk in prepared with our list of the five best tips for you to follow, whether you’re buying new or used!
- Do your research: Whether you’ve purchased a vehicle in the past or are a first-time car buyer, find out what the current market price is for the vehicle you want. In addition, examine the ratings and reviews others have written about the vehicle. Kelley Blue Book and Consumer Reports are filled with information from people who actually own the vehicle, and show both good and bad remarks. Tip: Factor in gas mileage with Fuel Economy’s website. While this is not an initial cost, it is sure to add up in the long run.
- Set a budget: This can be hard to do. While the vehicle you want may be out of your price range, it’s important to stick to your budget. If you are concerned about your budget, consider the option of leasing rather than actually purchasing a vehicle. Tip: Do your research and set your budget before walking into a dealership!
- Choose a model or type of car: With the budget you set for yourself, start looking into vehicles that work within your budget. This may mean you have to determine if you can afford a new car or if you should shop used. Also, when you are choosing your vehicle you need to think about your lifestyle and your future. Planning on starting a family? A new sports car may be your dream, but not practical in reality.
- Be ready to negotiate: Buying a vehicle can take time. Stay true to what you want and shop around. If you are not familiar with car-buying, pricing, or just do not like to negotiate in general, take a friend or family member who has been through the process before. This way you have someone who is not as invested in the outcome as you are and can have an outside perspective on the purchase.
- Take your time: While this may not be 100% realistic if you are in a rush to purchase a vehicle, you should take as much time as you need to make a decision. Do not be pressured into buying a vehicle. Ask questions and make sure all your questions are answered.