Buying a new car is an important milestone for a lot of people. But because of the sheer number and variety of vehicles on the market, choosing the right one can become a confusing and daunting experience.
So before you start typing in digits to a car loan calculator, keep these tips in mind to avoid the risk of regretting a hasty decision:
1. Do your research
Don’t buy a car at the first dealership you visit.
There will be salespeople who will entice you to buy on the spot and get you to part with your hard-earned money right away. Their goal is to get you to purchase based on your emotions and impulsive tendencies so they can get their commission.
Don’t feel pressured to buy or sign any paperwork then and there. Go away and visit other dealerships in the area or see what the market price is for the particular vehicle you have your eye on. Only once you are completely satisfied with the price and deal should you sign a contract.
Keep in mind that buying a vehicle is a major purchase for any individual. Even with the available personal financing options, it may still take you years to completely pay off the cost of buying a car.
Silence that nagging desire to buy and be patient. You just might find a better deal elsewhere.
2. Make a list of priorities
Know which features are the most important to you.
You may not be able to buy your dream vehicle but with a priority checklist, you can determine which aspects of the vehicle are non-negotiable.
Perhaps it is the number of passengers it can hold, how efficient it is in terms of fuel use, or the amount of space the trunk has. Whatever they may be, stick to your list of priorities so you don’t have any regrets in the near future.
If one of your main priorities is to purchase a family car, make sure all the members of your family will fit comfortably inside. Go for a test drive with everybody along for the ride. Check to see if all the members have enough leg room or that there is enough room for cups and other necessities you may need to fit inside.
Determine how much you can logically afford and stick to your budget. Sales staff may offer you extra accessories such as headlight protectors. The aim is to get you to pay more, of course.
In most cases, these extras are not worth having. You may find cheaper options in other shops. Unless you are sure they are offered at a great price, say no and simply stick to the essentials.
3. Take it for several test drives
Most reputable dealers want to make sure that you are truly interested in their product. Some may offer the option of an extended test drive, let you keep the vehicle overnight or even for several days.
Take the vehicle for at least two test drives — one with and one without a salesperson. By going for a drive without a sales associate seated right next to you, you can begin to see and evaluate the features of the vehicle for yourself.
See if your prospective vehicle will fit in your garage. This is especially important if you intend to purchase a van or a larger vehicle.
4. Bring an impartial companion
At times, you become so enamored with the vehicle that you fail to see the flaws or potential issues in the unit. To avoid this, bring a non-biased relative or friend along with you while you make your visits and during the test drive.
If you plan to purchase a used vehicle, visit a mechanic or a friend knowledgeable in these types of vehicles. Their input can help save you money and the heartache of buyer’s remorse.
Dealerships have varying fees that they add on to the final price of the vehicle. This is where they make the most money; so before you sign the contract, read the fine print to see if there are any additional fees and charges.
And since you already visited different dealerships, you can use the quotes you gathered to negotiate better prices and terms.
The key to avoid buyer’s remorse is to take your time and to do as much research as you can before buying. By following these simple tips, you are more likely to enjoy your purchase, and be happily content with your brand new car.