Whether you’ve just passed your driver’s exam and are looking for your first-ever vehicle, whether it’s time to switch from SUV to family sedan, or whether your trusty minivan is finally due for an upgrade, one thing remains true – when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle, a little diligence goes a long way.
How can you get the best deal possible on your brand new car? Consider the following five car buying mistakes to avoid the next time you’re shopping for a new ride.
Not Figuring Out Financing
If you don’t figure out financing before you get to the dealership, you could get stuck with a dealer financing option that isn’t exactly a great deal.
A dealer may advertise for “rates as low as 0%,” but this could in fact come with many conditions. For example, the zero percent rate could last for only a few months, could require money down, or could be available only for those with top credit rates.
That’s why it’s important to research your financing options beforehand, and speak with your bank. See if you can get preapproved for a car loan from them. When you’re negotiating with the dealer, see if they can match the bank’s interest rate – if not, you won’t be stuck paying a premium for dealer financing.
Paying for Unnecessary Extras
If you’ve ever walked into a grocery store with list in hand, and walked out with a surplus of unnecessary extras that were nowhere on your list, you know the feeling – it’s all too easy to get talked into paying for extra features that are simply unnecessary.
Before you make your way to your dealership, make a list of features that are a necessity for your new car – such as radio and navigation systems – and stick to it. Knowing what features you absolutely need will help you to prevent unnecessary extras from creeping into your list.
Forgoing the Test Drive
Although you can learn a lot about a vehicle from preliminary research – including searching the web and speaking to your dealer – no amount of research can replace the necessity of the test drive.
It’s recommended that first-time car buyers test drive at least seven different vehicles before making their final decision, while those replacing an older vehicle test drive a minimum of four. The only way to get a feel for how your new car will handle on an everyday basis is to take it for a drive and replicate that everyday driving scenario. Although they are important steps of the research process, reading reviews, looking up specifications, and speaking to dealers cannot replace an old fashioned test drive.
Buying Based on Monthly Payments
Although it’s important to know how much you can pay for your vehicle on a monthly basis, you should not base your entire purchase around a monthly payment.
Rather than negotiating a monthly payment with your dealer, negotiate the actual sales price of your vehicle – independent of a down payment, trade-in agreement, or financing arrangement. A car dealer that knows you are guaranteed to make a purchase, if the monthly payment is right, may offer you a lease or financing deal that looks tempting but could actually leave you paying more money over a longer period of time.
Not Thinking About Insurance
Insurance may not be the first thing on your mind when it’s time to purchase a new vehicle, but if you don’t take some time to consider the insurance side of things, you may end up choosing coverage that’s not exactly right for your situation or budget.
That’s why it’s important to shop around for the best auto insurance options available. At Desjardins Insurance, we offer car insurance tailored to you and your family’s unique needs, and offer benefits and discounts to help you save. Get a quote today – it only take a few minutes.