Buying a car can be an exciting process. It’s also a big step. And it can be an expensive one if you’re not prepared. But with a little planning, you can take on the car buying process with confidence. Here are 7 car buying tips that will make that happen:
Before you even step into a dealership, make sure you know your numbers. Give your budget a deep review and determine exactly how much you can spend, and then make sure you stick to it. Here’s a handy car affordability calculator that will help you determine how much you can afford.
Dealerships will attempt to draw your focus away from the final cost of your vehicle purchase by focusing your attention solely on monthly payments. They’ll distract you with low monthly payments that you can afford, without mentioning how much it’ll cost you in the end. Stick to your budget and you won’t find yourself falling for their short-sighted enticements.
You’ve probably heard it before: the end of the month is the best time to purchase. It’s cliché, but there’s truth to it. Salesmen typically have quotas they have to reach by the end of each month, and if they’re falling short when the month is wrapping up, they’re much more likely to be willing to cut a deal.
Speaking of timing, if the newest model of your cream car is calling your name, take a step back and consider buying an older model. If you time it right, by purchasing right after the newest models hit the market, you can find yourself saving lots of money, and still getting a new ride. Even if it’s not the newest ride out there, it’s a better deal, which trust us, feels much better in the end. In fact, right now (August through October) is a great time to get this year’s model after next year’s model has made its debut.
You may not want to buy the most basic model, but before you jump into buying the highest trim, try to determine if the cost is worth the extra comfort. Do you really need that upgraded stereo? Or the panoramic sunroof? Make sure all the bells and whistles that come with the trim level you choose is worth the cost, and that you’ll use the additional features. Often, you’ll discover it’s not worth the added hit to your wallet.
Use sites such as TrueCar.com to find a fair price on the car you’re looking for and then compare it with other sites such as Kelley Blue Book. Do your research before settling on exactly what you want to purchase. And make sure you don’t walk into a dealership without knowing what you’re looking for. It’s easy to get distracted by more expensive options when you haven’t done your research.
Dealerships want to make a profit – no surprise there. So they’re going to try to sell you on everything they can, including the little extras beyond the car purchase. Extended warranties and road service may sound nice, but do you need them, want them, or can you even afford them? Consider carefully before you decide, and remember our first tip: stick to your budget.
Dealerships offer financing, but it’s often not the smartest choice. Shop around and find the best interest rates. At Utah First, we offer instant loan approvals any time of the day, low interest rates, affordable GAP and protection payment plans, and so, so much more. Learn more here.
With these tips in mind and a plan in place, you’ll find yourself in a new car you love at a price you feel good about.
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