Useful Tips in Buying a Car

Planning and budgeting are both important prerequisites when it comes to purchasing a new car. Getting a car is costly – and is said to be the second most expensive purchase people make next to their own homes. To ensure that you make good financial decisions, see the below tips to getting a new car this year.



Decide how much you will spend

Having a specific car in mind will not do any help unless you can actually afford it. Many believe that the ideal purchase should only eat up 20% of your monthly household earnings. This not only includes the actual car payments, but the costs to use them – including gasoline, car insurance and maintenance.


Decide if you’ll get new or used

Used cars are generally less expensive and as such, the demand has been higher compared to before. This also translated unfortunately to higher prices as an answer to this high demand. On the other hand, there are now brand new vehicles that are budget friendly.

Thus, you may want to look at both old and new cars that actually fit your budget. Consider the tradeoffs: buying new would mean full warranty and free roadside assistance and maintenance, as well as lower interest rates. Buying old, on the other hand would mean that you can get a better model for a lesser amount of money. However, you really won’t know the full history of the car.

Narrow your choices

Take that list of cars you've noticed while driving around town or at your local auto show and start researching them online. Check out the automaker websites as well as automotive information sites that are independent of these companies to assess the car's features that are important to you and get an idea of inventory available in your area.

Make a list of cars that you have noticed as you go around town, or at a local auto show that you visited. Research their specifications online. Check out the company’s websites as well as independent websites that give honest reviews about cars. Make an assessment to identify which car/s you are most interested in.


Get the best interest rates

While low interest rates are always being looked out for, it won’t be of any use unless you qualify for them. Only about 10% of buyers would actually get the 0% rates that most dealers offer. Even so, you may still find yourself better off taking cash rebates and better financial assistance somewhere else. A tip: don’t take everything at face value. Some offers sound too good to be true – and they most probably are.

Many automakers and dealers have cash-back and rebate deals plastered in their advertisements, and these should be factored in the final price that you’ll be paying. Furthermore, car dealers also offer discount depending on who’s buying – they would probably give more to students, military personnel, and even members of credit unions.


Be a smart negotiator

Now that you’ve done your research and are ready to look at different offers, call and request for an appointment to test drive the vehicle with the fleet manager. They don’t strong-arm potential buyers, so you will find yourself in a better position in the event that you make a decision. Again, keep in mind all the research you have done, as well as the discounts you see are being offered when you begin to discuss the purchase.


Make the most out of the test drive

A thorough test drive sometimes makes or breaks the deal – see and feel if the car will last for more than 5 years. Also, consider the size of your family – is the 7-seater really designed for 7 or will only 5 fit comfortably? Think about what you’ll be doing or where you’ll be going 5 years from now and try if you can picture yourself with this car.

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