To avoid buyer’s remorse and stress, follow these suggestions to help make the buying process much simpler, yet still exciting.
1. Research, research and more research
Before you enter the dealership, you should do your homework. Knowledge is power. Identify what type of vehicle you will need and what dealership you would like to go to. For instance, do you need a vehicle with plenty of room for children and pets or do you want to visit a specialized dealership but aren’t sure what to expect. This will help narrow down the search. Secondly, read reviews on current or new models from various cars within your price range.
Next, find the invoice prices for your top vehicle choices. An invoice price is what the dealer will pay the manufacturer for the vehicle. It will not only impress the dealer that you know the invoice price, but it will show you mean business and anticipate a good deal.
2. Set a budget
To avoid over-spending, make a budget and stick with it. Buying a car is a major purchase and you want to make sure your finances are in order, as there’s a chance you may be paying it off for the next few years. Be firm that you don’t want any unnecessary extras such as rustproofing or fabric protection.
If you require a loan, be sure to know your credit history and credit score. This will help decide whether you are qualified for the best car loan rates. The lower your credit score, the more freedom you have to shop around and get a highly-good rate from your bank.
3. Timing is everything
Now that you’ve decided what car you would like to buy, find a time to visit the dealership when you will be able to get a good deal. Buying a car at the end of the month is usually the best time as car dealers have to meet their monthly sales quota. Buying at the end of a weekday as opposed to first thing on Saturday morning is also better as dealers tend to be more lenient. If you also visit a dealership between the December holiday season and the end of February, you should be able to find and secure a good deal.
4. Take a test drive
Taking a test drive is probably the best way to find out if you want to buy the car or not. It’s important you feel comfortable driving your vehicle. Bring any family members and friends along as well to see if they like the car. Also, make sure the vehicle reacts properly when you push the accelerator or brakes. For additional test driving tips visit our 5 Things You Should Do on a Test Drive post. It’s also wise to not buy a car during your first visit. Take some time to reflect on your driving experience.
5. Negotiate the total price
Lastly, negotiate the price. This is where your research knowledge comes into play. Let the dealer know you came prepared and are ready to bargain. Discuss any advertised rebates and incentives. Be sure to negotiate based on the vehicle’s total price including fees and taxes, instead of the monthly payment as this can be much more costly.