Advanced technologies are extending the lives of cars more and more every year – so when it’s time to upgrade your vehicle, it can be really confusing walking into a car dealership! If you’re in the position of switching cars in the near future, it’s likely that you’ll be spoiled for variety and choice. In this article, we look at some tips for buying new vehicles to help you find the perfect fit!
- Research. Before you go to a dealership, it’s important to do research on what your options are so you have a fair idea about what kind of car will be best for your needs. The kind of vehicle that would best suit you depends on multiple factors – you may need to consider the makeup of your household, your safety requirements, the areas you drive, and other questions that will help you finalize the makes and models you’ll want to look at. Another important benefit of thorough research is that you can check car reviews and buyer’s guides to see what other real-life users think of cars you might be interested in to compare different vehicles, and also gain an idea of what the market price is.
- Talk to your insurance agent. Most people eventually get their vehicle insured (and we highly recommend that you do for peace of mind!), and that’s why you should have a chat with your insurance provider. This is because different vehicles can cost different amounts and so to understand the true annual cost you will pay for each vehicle that discussion is important so you’re aware what you can expect to pay in insurance for each different vehicle you are considering.
- Finance. It’s important to understand your finances so you are aware of what your budget for your new car should be. Remember that the cost of a car isn’t just the price you pay for the vehicle, but all of the maintenance costs that you pay over the years. Knowing how much you can afford to spend yearly on your vehicle can help you prepare for those yearly costs that keep your car on the road.
As well as this, if you plan on buying your new car using finance, shop around to find the best rates possible. Try to get the amount you’re willing to spend pre-approved by a lender so you have the same power as a cash buyer at dealerships. Also be mindful of total costs if or when setting up finance through dealers. Although payments may appear small, factors such as interest and fees can make the costs skyrocket, so make sure you calculate which financing option would be best for your individual budget.
- Test drive. The only way to truly know if a car is the perfect fit for you is to take it for a test drive. When taking a test drive for a car that you’ve finalized, it’s crucial that you’re thorough in your check. Dealers can sometimes be happy to let you test drive a new car for an extended time (or even overnight) so investigate if this is an option for you. Test the car under the conditions you would usually drive it in. If you drive in stop/start traffic, see how the car handles the traffic, and if you’re driving in the country, take it for a spin on the open road. In this process you’ll be able to learn how the car parks, its blind spots and most importantly, how comfortable you feel behind the wheel.
- Bring other people along to see the vehicle. Having the opinion of family/friends can help you narrow your options down. Bring along someone whose opinion you trust and that might just help you find the one.
- Final checks. By this point, you probably have an idea of which car you’re planning on buying. Now, to make sure you’re buying a vehicle that will actually work for you, do a thorough inspection. An easy thing you can do on your own is going over the car’s paint work and interior carefully to avoid finding imperfections. If you’re purchasing a second hard vehicle, you may also considering looking up the history of the car. Things such as whether the car has a wound back/clocked odometer, any finance outstanding, if it’s recorded as stolen or if it has been re-registered is some simple but crucial things a background check can find out for you that will save you a lot of trouble down the line.
- Negotiate. Finally, you’ve found the perfect car. Now, you just need to get the perfect deal. The best way to get a good deal for yourself is to play it cool and be confident in the decision you’ve made. Be prepared to walk away if you feel like you’re getting an unreasonable deal! Just because you’ve entered into negotiating a deal doesn’t mean you should feel pressured to accept a deal you don’t want.
Hopefully with these tips you feel more confident in the buying process. If you feel like it’s time to upgrade your vehicle, take advantage of all of the resources out there and get yourself a good deal!