Buying a car is equally a big decision, like buying a house. With the amount of money that has to be put in and the stress associated with deciding whether or not you’ll get a good deal, it can be an incredibly intimidating experience. Immoral car dealers (not all, arguably) tend to generate most of their profit from upselling cars to vulnerable customers.
With buying a car, one of the first questions that arise is whether to buy a new car or one that has been previously owned. For most people, they would instead buy a new car themselves for that fresh car smell. However, in some cases, buying a used car might make more sense than getting a brand new one. With all the risks associated with making such a significant financial investment, you must go into making that deal well prepared. To get a good deal or prevent yourself from potentially buying either a clocked car or just a bad deal, here are seven things you must know before buying a car.
BE PREPARED BEFOREHAND
Knowing your enemy is half the battle, as the old Chinese proverb goes. However, this time the struggle is against lousy car deals. What this means is you have got to do your research. Before going to any dealership or used car dealer, you need to sit down with your phone or laptop and research thoroughly.
Things you need to be looking for are the type of car you want to buy, which varies on your needs. For example, if you need the car for inner-city transport, you might want to buy a car with a better turn radius. If you’re going to go for long drives, you might want to buy a car with proper engine cooling and better mileage. It is all about understanding your needs first.
CHECK YOUR TRADE-INS VALUE (IF YOU HAVE ONE)
Some dealerships accept your old car as partial payment for your new one. Your used car is primarily exchanged as credit that goes towards paying for your new one. Unfortunately, with trade-ins, the value varies greatly depending upon the dealership you are buying your new car from. This means that you would first have to ascertain the value of your old car to ensure you are not getting a bad deal from the dealership. Going to AA or any online car value estimator would be an excellent way to start, after this, you can call a few dealerships to get a reasonable estimate of the price of your old car.
FIGURE OUT YOUR FINANCES
Not only do you need to narrow down your choices based on your likes and dislikes, but you also need to find a car that fits your budget as well. After ascertaining the value of your trade-in, see the kind of budget you have. Check your credit history as well in the case of you requiring to get a loan if you do not have enough budget. You do not want to be making payments on an impulse purchase for months on end. A good way to avoid that is to get your budget in order before buying the car, and not the other way around.
CHECK CAR HISTORIES
A vehicle history report will give you the right information. This might affect certain possible flaws it may have that a dealer might not be too upfront with. You can do so online by checking the cars VIN (vehicle identification number) on the driver’s side door jamb. You will learn whether the vehicle has been sold and resold or has taken any flood damage etc.
Knowing all the histories and data on a car is one thing. Getting into a car and getting to know it is entirely different. So, before making any purchase, take the keys and take the car for a spin. Hearing the engine and experiencing the kind of drive it is capable of is imperative.
DO A PRE-PURCHASE INSPECTION
Get an independent mechanic, someone you can trust, to inspect the car. A seasoned eye will be able to spot any imperfections. An experienced ear might pick out a chink in the engine just by hearing its noise. Many flaws can fly under the radar during a test-drive, and it is better to catch one before buying the car than after it.
DO NOT RUSH IT
Buying a car is a big decision. Big decisions like these cannot be made quickly. Impulse buying is what fuels most of the car dealership industry. To prevent yourself from getting fleeced by a smooth salesman or your own anxiety, remember to stay calm and not be afraid of walking away from a deal.
Buying a car can be a pain, but with proper planning and thinking, it can be a breeze. Remember to do your research and work out a budget before going to any dealership. Evaluate your trade-in and check your credit history so that you know what you can buy. After choosing a car, remember to test-drive and get it checked. Happy cruising!