There’s nothing as exciting as driving along the highway in your car. It’s one of the liberating feelings in the world. Unfortunately, some people spend months planning and looking for the ideal car. But, it shouldn’t be that way.
You just need to learn a few things to make you more confident with the purchase. They include.
Know What You Can Afford
Don’t overthink the purchase. A lot of people think about what other people will say. They don’t want to buy a cheap car because it will embarrass them. As a result, they buy an expensive fancy car beyond their means and struggle with the debt.
Before you buy a car, check your finances. Do you have enough money saved to make a large down payment? It’s always good to pay more than 20% of the car’s value. That way, you pay less interest.
Why do you want to buy a car? Is it to drive yourself to work? Go on road trips or to take the family out. Do you want a car with a lot of trunk space or limited? What aren’t you willing to compromise on when buying the car?
When you identify what you need, it becomes easy to choose a car. For example, if you live alone and work in the city, a small fuel-efficient car would be a good choice.
Find Out More About Your Chosen Car
Not all cars are the same. Some can be very unreliable. Therefore, read online car reviews from high authority sites. Those reviews contain a lot of useful information; from the car seat position to the way it drives, and it’s history.
As you do your research, don’t stick to one site. Find out more information from competitor sites. You should also watch online videos of owners that have used the car for a while. They will give you accurate information about what to expect.
You should always seek the cheapest and most favorable loan terms. Use car loans online application sites to calculate the total costs. Those calculators will give you a realistic figure of what you can afford.
Make sure that you tell the lender everything about the car. That’s because financial institutions have internal regulations that forbid them from financing the purchase of certain vehicle models. Sharing both personal and car information can help you get a pre-approval for the purchase.
After you get your loan pre-approved, you can start visiting dealerships. The pre-approval helps you create a budget of what you can afford. What they don’t tell you in the dealership websites is that warranties can increase your costs.
As you visit different dealerships, ask them about the warranty on the car. Do you have to pay more money to access certain after-sale services? There’s something known as extended warranty. For example, if the dealer offers you one year of free service in the normal warranty, the extended warranty could include paint protection accessories.
If the car is very reliable and popular, you can be sure other dealers are selling the same vehicle. This can work to your advantage. Since the dealer knows that you can get the car somewhere else, they’ll be more open to negotiations.
Consider all costs associated with the purchase as you negotiate. What is the recommended retail price by the manufacturer? Is the price beyond what the manufacturer recommends? You should also know the online price suggestions from car review sites. The range will give a rough estimate of how much you should pay.
Before you write a check to the dealer, drive the car to get a feel of its performance. Does the car accelerate the way you want? How does it handle corners? Is the cabin space quiet? What about the driving position, is it high enough?
Test the gadgets on the car. How responsive is the infotainment system? What about safety features? Are they reliable? Can you adjust the steering and seats? Does the climate control system work well? These questions will help you be more thorough with the examination.
If the car meets your expectation, you can close the deal.
In conclusion, owning a car shouldn’t be stressful or hard. It should be as simple and straightforward as buying a house. Follow the above steps, and you’ll be driving your dream car in no time.
By: Raymond James
About the Author:
Ray is a sought after thought leader and an expert in financial and money management. He has been published and featured in over 50 leading sites and aims to contribute articles to help novice financial planners. One of his goals is to impart his knowledge in finance to educate and help ordinary people create and achieve their financial goals.