Buying a Car. Its kind of a scary and intimidating idea! Would you believe that up until a month ago, I had never actually been a part of the car buying process? Yup. Thats right! I’m in my 30’s and have never bought a car from a dealer before. When your Dad is a mechanic, you kinda just inherit them as you need them as a teen and young adult. Then I got married, and just shared the truck with the hubby, since we really didn’t need 2 vehicles. Fast forward 6 years, and we were due for a new vehicle! Since I had NO idea what we needed to know before buying a new car, and didn’t want to ask the wrong questions while my hubs was “negotiating”, so I did my due diligence and discovered the 3 things I really needed to know before buying a car!

3 Things You Need To Know Before Buying a Car

3 Things You Need To Know Before Buying a Car:

#1. Know what you want.

What kind of vehicle do you want? New? Used? Make? Model? Year? If used, how many miles are you OK with? How long will you want this vehicle for? Will it work for you long term and through the next stages of your life?

I knew I wanted a mid sized SUV. I’ve wanted one for the last 5 years, and have mentioned that to my husband on a number of occasions. Small enough to be practical and fuel efficient, but large enough to take ALL of my displays, inventory and handmade paraphernalia to markets all year long, and be able to pull a small trailer if I end up needing one as my handmade business grows. New, used, make, model and year didn’t matter so much to me, although used was going to suit our budget and have enough cargo room.


#2. Know what you can afford.

What is your budget? What price point are you comfortable with? What is your absolute MAX monthly price point? Do you qualify for financing? How do you get financing?

This is where Capital One comes into play! Capital One developed Auto Navigator to simplify car buying and financing. Capital One® Auto Navigator® focuses on adding transparency to a sometimes confusing process by allowing consumers to pre-qualify for auto financing and see their financing terms before visiting a dealer. With Auto Navigator, consumers can find a car and see their financing options, all in one place, without impacting their credit score.


#3.  Know where to go.

What dealers are in your area? What dealerships have your friends and family used? Are there reviews available to check out? What are the standard warranties and policies? What sort of inventory do they have available?

Once again, Capital One® Auto Navigator® comes to the rescue! Consumers can browse more than 3 million cars from over 12,000 participating dealers across the country, including in your area. You can also get dealer ratings and car reviews – all in one place – and even access car history reports, so you can arrive confident and ready to buy when the time comes.

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With my research done, and our budget in place, we headed off to look at vehicles. A few test drives, lots of questions and a little haggling later, we were the proud owners of a new-to-us Chevy Trailblazer! It had everything that I needed, all of the things I wanted and even a few luxuries we hadn’t considered before! It didn’t take us long after getting the keys, to get a little mud on the tires! Doing our research before buying a car saved us time, hassle and headache!

And now we have the perfect vehicle for a trip into the city to go to the DFW Auto Show! The DFW Auto Show is one of the largest new car and truck shows in the nation – and local car enthusiasts, families and potential buyers alike flock to see the latest and greatest car styles, models, trends and technology. (Its March 22-26, 2017) I’m excited to see all the latest and greatest car styles, models, trends and technology. Its been far too long since I’ve been to an Auto Show! I used to go to the Detroit one with friends annually, but since moving to Texas, I haven’t made it. So glad to be changing that this year! If you’re in DFW and headed to the Auto Show, we might just bump into each other! 🙂


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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23 Responses to 3 Things You Need To Know Before Buying a Car

  1. Jaime Nicole says:

    These are great tips! I will be buying a car within the next year, so these will definitely come in handy!

  2. Jeanette says:

    These are all great tips! We just bought a new car and we did exactly this! We saved a ton knowing ahead of time what we wanted and how much we could spend.

  3. We have bought new (and used) cars for years and years, and to be perfectly honest, the process still makes me nervous. You’ve offered some great tips, and I’ll try to keep them in mind next month when we trade in for another new car.

  4. Thanks for sharing these great tips. You really need to have a clear idea of what you need before you get started on the process.

  5. Tamara says:

    I think it’s so important to know where to go.
    We’re in need of a new car within the next year or so, and I want to be prepared.

  6. These are great tips. Fortunately, I have never had to purchase a car. My husband works in the industry and usually takes care of it for me!! The info you provided seems like a great foundation for buying a car

  7. I’ve test driven two vehicles so far, as I’m in the market for a small SUV. I think I’m opting to switch to a leased car instead of buying next time.

  8. Lisa Favre says:

    Knowing what you can afford is such an important step! You’ll be able to know what class vehicle to get as well as what add-ons you’re willing to pay for!

  9. Claudia Krusch says:

    It is so important to do your research when buying a car. You should always sort out your finances before you start.

  10. Dogvills says:

    These are excellent tips. My brother is in the market for a car. This will help.

  11. KATHY MYERS says:

    Great tips, we are discussing my future new car buy right now. I have narrowed it down to three. I like checking their safety ratings.

  12. Victoria Heckstall says:

    I’m also planning to buy a car this coming April and I’m really excited. Glad to know these tips.

  13. Kathy says:

    These are all great tips. It is certainly very important to get the right car. You want to do your research and make sure you’re paying a fair price too.

  14. uprunforlife says:

    I always hate buying cars because the process is such a pain in the butt. This is great advice for someone who is ready to go car shopping. If you can get a pre approval, then you are one step ahead of the game too.

  15. rika says:

    Very great tips.. I just bought a new car last month! I finally got a bigger SUV and i think i picked the right one.

  16. Natalie says:

    This post came at the right time. My sister is looking into buying her first car, I will have to share this with her.

  17. Echo says:

    These are really good tips! Especially knowing what you can afford! You want to make sure you aren’t car broke!

  18. These are definitely some great things to know before buying a car. I think the biggest one is determining your budget and not looking outside of it.

  19. Mimi Green says:

    Those are great tips, they served me well when purchasing my own. Congrats on the new ride.

  20. Lynndee says:

    Those are such great tips. Thanks for that. Hubby might be getting him a new car soon because his old one is dying. 🙂

  21. Eloise says:

    Those are 3 very important things to consider indeed! I can’t wait to win the lottery some day and be able to buy a new car, and a home for my kids and I (I know wishful thinking, but a woman can dream!) thanks for the car tips : )

  22. E H says:

    These are great ideas! My husband has actually had a silly accident two weeks ago that did not hurt anything except totaled the car, and now we are at a point where we may be considering getting a new one, and this is a good start to help us out – thank you for sharing this!

  23. Gabriel Bregg says:

    Know what you want and stick to your guns is the best point ever, along with knowing a good mechanic to give what you’re buying a good inspection.

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