Buying a car is indeed exciting; however, it can also be stressful if you do not know how to do the right research and what to find out before you hand over your hard-earned money to an auto dealership. In this guide, we can help you make the correct decision by sharing some useful information with you.
Find Out What Kind of Car Suits Your Lifestyle
Buying a car is a significant investment so you need to be sure you will be able to put it to good use. To do that, you need to find out whether it fits your needs. For example, do you want a bigger car to fit your family? Do you like off-roading and want a sturdy vehicle for that? Or do you wish for a luxury sports car?
Once you determine what kind of car you need, you should do some preliminary research and find out some good models that can provide you with all the features you are looking for. You can then shortlist them according to their price, mileage, safety features, etc.
View Your Credit Report
Most of the people who buy cars look for financing options. To make sure your application will be approved, you need to first check your credit score. The higher your credit score, the greater the chances that your auto loan application will be approved and you will get a lower interest rate.
If your credit score isn’t great, you will need to review your report to see what is lowering your score and take action to remedy them.
Research Financing Options
Once you have found out your credit score, you need to look at the car loan rates that your bank or lending agencies are offering and compare each other. If you have a pre-approved loan before you go to a car dealership, it can help you negotiate a better price for the car you choose.
Find Out your Car’s Trade-In Value
If you have a car that you plan to trade-in, you need to know its actual worth. You can go online and consult Kelley Blue Book to put specific details about your vehicle, like its make, model, year, mileage, and condition, to find out your selected car’s estimated trade-in value. Once you have gotten this number, you can negotiate a better offer for your car.
Set a Budget
To find out how much car you can afford on a monthly basis, you need to do some basic calculations to find out your principal loan amount, its annual interest rate, and the term of the loan. This will give you the amount that you can afford in a month.
It is also a good idea to make a down payment on your car so that you may take out a smaller loan with better rates.
Decide Between Buying a New or Old Car
There is nothing like the feeling of buying a brand-new car. For many of us though, a new car can be cost-prohibitive. However, you can also get excellent deals on pre-used cars. Many pre-used cars come in excellent condition and offer the user a host of benefits.
Find Out Your Car’s History
By using online services like CARFAX, you can find out the car’s history, including how old it is, how many owners it has had, whether it has been involved in an accident, or whether the car has had any repair history. It is also a smart idea to get a professional mechanic to inspect your car and point out any potential issues that may cause problems in the near future.
Decide Whether to Buy or Lease a Car
If you buy a car, you will need to foot the entire bill of owning it. However, if you lease a car, you will only have to pay for the length of time you will be using it.
When making the decision of whether to buy or lease a car, you should consider a few things like how much you drive, do you keep your car in good condition, and if is there a possibility of terminating a lease prematurely.
It is important that you read customers’ testimonials and reviews to find out what kind of experience they have had with a particular dealership. You should ask your friends and families for recommendations and request them to direct you to an auto dealership with an impeccable reputation.
Once you have completed the research, you should test drive the cars you have shortlisted at multiple dealerships and find out which one gives you the best deal.
Once you have decided on the car you want to buy, you should get down to negotiation. Stick to your budget and when the salesman gives you a quote, give a number that’s in the lower range of your budget so that you meet the dealership halfway and settle to near your target price.
With some research and preparation, you will own your dream car in no time.