While many people love driving around in a new car, few people enjoy the actual process associated with buying a car. In many cases, buyers feel considerable pressure to make an impulsive buying decision. They may feel rushed to get through a financing process without actually crunching the numbers or researching the options. This entire experience can lead to buyer’s remorse that is contradictory to the great feeling associated with driving a new car. You should love all aspects of your car buying experience. If you are looking for an easier way to buy a car, follow these helpful tips.
Define Your Needs and Budget
Before you head to any car dealerships and start test driving cars, a better idea is to think through exactly what you need in a new vehicle. Think about things like cargo space, passenger seating, fuel economy and special features. Reviewing your budget to determine affordability is also important. The cost of a new vehicle includes the down payment for your new loan as well as the loan payment, fuel expenses, repair and maintenance costs, insurance and more. The vehicle that you select will affect all of these factors. You must understand what your financial comfort zone is when all expenses are taken into account. Avoid only factoring in your monthly auto loan payment when determining affordability.
Research Makes and Models Up-Front
After you have a better understanding about what features you are looking for and what you can afford, you can begin researching the various makes and models available. This step should be completed at home before visiting dealerships. You can waste a considerable amount of time and energy speaking with different salespeople. You may also grow increasingly confused by or torn about the options available when salespeople are using their tactics on you. You could even fall in love with the luxurious amenities in a car that is not actually right for your needs or budget. Pay attention to all aspects of ownership costs and various features in each vehicle. Read consumer reviews and safety reviews. Through your online research, you likely can narrow down the options to one or two top models that meet your needs and that are affordable for your budget.
Ge Pre-Qualified for Financing
Take one additional step before visiting a dealership for a test drive. Compare interest rates for auto loans online to find the best rate possible. However, be aware that advertised rates typically are available only for the most well-qualified buyers who have a sizable down payment. It may be necessary to actually apply for an auto loan with a few different lenders to obtain accurate pricing information. Print out your pre-qualification or pre-approval letter, and bring it with you when you visit the dealership. This letter will tell you specifically what sales price you can afford, and this information can simplify your buying experience while also reducing your stress level. It also gives the financing department terms to beat, which reduces the chance that you would receive unnecessarily high pricing on an auto loan.
Be Prepared to Walk Away
Avoid walking into a dealership with the intent to make a purchase on that same day. Consider your visit to be an opportunity to test drive the vehicle and to select the trim that you are interested in. You can also obtain the best price quote possible from the dealership. In most areas, multiple dealerships within a reasonable distance offer the same makes and models. Spend a few hours getting the best quote from multiple dealerships. This can seem time-consuming, but it could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Always be prepared to walk away rather than succumb to high-pressure sales tactics.
While there are seemingly many stressors and pitfalls associated with buying a new vehicle, you can see that your strategy can simplify all aspects of the car buying process. In fact, a considerable amount of the buying process can and should be completed in the privacy of your own home and at your own pace. When you follow these helpful steps, you can get a great deal on a car that is truly right for you. You can also decrease the likelihood that you will fall victim to high-pressure sales tactics that ultimately may result in buyer’s remorse.