The internet has a tremendous amount of information to help drivers buy new vehicles. Of course, the process can be complicated whether you buy cars often or have not shopped for a new car in decades. Here are some tips for buying the right vehicle to meet your needs and preferences.
Try Both Online and In-Person Shopping
Distinct advantages exist for shopping online and in person. You may be able to get the best of both worlds if you combine the two methods. For example, shopping online allows you to browse a retailer’s inventory of, say, Toyotas. You get to see each and every new Toyota for sale online whereas you would likely miss more than a few if you relied solely on going to a dealership in person.
Browsing online lets you learn quickly about what is available and at what price levels. You can even get a head start on arranging trade-ins or other forms of financing.
However, going in person sets up the opportunity for test driving. You may also simply prefer interacting with people in person, and that is fine. Because you did your research online first, you have a good grasp on prices before you enter a dealership.
Note the Features You Like and Dislike About Your Current Vehicle
Perhaps you like the technology your current vehicle has but dislike the cramped space and low gas mileage. Knowing what you like and dislike helps you choose the best new car to buy.
Figure Out Financing
Are you keeping your current car, or would you prefer to trade it in or sell it? If it is one of the latter two options, calculate your vehicle’s value. If you don’t owe money on it, it is yours, free and clear. You can use a dealership’s website, the Kelley Blue Book Trade-in Value, and the Kelley Blue Book Private Party Value for valuation estimates.
Next, assess how much money you have for a down payment and how much you could make in payments per month.
It may be worth your time to investigate financing from a credit union or bank before you discuss loans with the dealership. The dealer may be willing to match or beat the rate.
Listen to Your Gut
If dealership interactions have you spooked, listen to your gut. Red flags include many negative online reviews and requests for advance payment or payment through wire transfers.
The dealer may try to bundle your trade-in and new-car purchase, too. That is a red flag. These transactions are separate. Unethical dealers may try to combine them to mask the fact that you are paying more than you should for a new vehicle.
Charges for “advertising allowance,” and other vague terms are shady, but fees for sales tax and license fees should be legitimate. Ask about anything you do not understand and research them. It may be helpful to shop with a companion rather than solo.
Feel Confident During Your Buying Journey!
Buying a new vehicle can be an exciting time. Prep work, such as figuring out your financing and researching the inventory at local dealerships, goes a long way.