Buying a new car is going to affect your life over the next several years. You want to ensure that you buy a quality vehicle that’s going to be easy to maintain, and not be a money drain. If this is your first car you may be overwhelmed with dozens of automakers, models, and trim levels. You should take great care when selecting a new car, as often there is no option to return it once it’s been delivered to you.
These car buying tips for first-timers will get you started with your car purchase and, hopefully, help you avoid a “lemon”!
What do you need? Are you seeking a car, truck, or minivan? Is it for work, or do you need a service van? Do you have a large family that often needs transporting around to events and meetings? If you’ve decided on what type, try to narrow it down from here. Do you want a coupe (two door), or four door sedan? A hatchback can be handy for placing groceries and other purchases in the back. Ask yourself how much cargo room you need if it’s for a minivan or service van.
Once you’ve narrowed down the type of vehicle, it’s time to decide whether to buy brand new, last year’s model, or a used vehicle. Time to set your budget – What is your MAX budget… you don’t want to be “car poor”!
Start researching the different car manufacturers. Where are is your potential vehicle manufactured? How important is it to you? Many people wish to keep jobs in America, but Japanese or German automakers know how to make vehicles that last. Do your research to see which car maker appeals to you most.
Read online reviews about each vehicle, but remember that there’s no perfect vehicle out there. Each model has their benefits, and their failings. One car may be perfect foryour friend, but not for you.
If you have a family you may be concerned about safety ratings. You’ll probably not want a small car, but a larger, sturdy minivan that holds up well in accidents. Be sure to ask for accident reports or the carfax to check a particular cars history.
Start visiting local vehicle dealerships to see which ones capture your eye. Ask questions of car dealers–they’re there to help. But don’t be rushed into any pushy sales tactics. Leave, if you must. If you’re pleased with the customer service, grab a business card so you can contact them later.
Once you feel you have a good grasp of the vehicles you’re in interested in, it’s time to go for a test drive. Choose three vehicles to take out on the road. Gauge their performance, and take notes.
Trust your instinct. If one car is right for you, you’ll know it. Now is the time to sit down with the dealer to negotiate. They may be able to tweak the listed price, or offer extras. Don’t be afraid to take their card and call around to find the best price!
Are you hunting for your first car?