Buying a car can be a bit of an ordeal. There’s so much choice involved, be it make, model, the options available within each model, financing, and on and on and on. It can easily overwhelm anyone regardless of how in the know they are when it comes to what’s available or even what they’re interested in purchasing. We here at EveryCarListed understand these difficulties, so we’ve taken the time to provide some of the handiest and most helpful points to consider once you’ve made the decision to invest in a new (or used) vehicle.
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO
This first point is, admittedly, fairly broad but intentionally so. There’s A LOT that you need to know and keep in mind even before you ever set foot on the lot and start bantering with some guy named Todd who really wants you to check out this year’s latest models. Buying a vehicle is a huge decision, one that you’ll quite possibly be locked into for many years depending on how long you plan on keeping said vehicle and how much of it you’re able to pay for upfront. As such, you need to know what you’re getting into. Know how much money you can spend. Know if you’re approved for a loan. Know how much money you can spend per month on a payment if you do end up financing. Know how much the sticker price generally ranges within the make and model. Know what buying a certain kind of vehicle will do to your insurance. Is taking on the financial burden of buying, and most importantly paying for, a vehicle one that you can even reasonably handle? This is perhaps the most important thing one can consider.
RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH
As the GI Joe public service announcements said, “Knowing is half the battle.” People in sales can be pushy, though it’s hard to blame them for being so. It’s their job. That said, you can make your experience and the job of the salesperson that much easier if you walk onto the lot already knowledgeable of what you’re looking to buy. Don’t just wander onto a lot looking to kick some tires and be convinced. That way lies madness, as well as the possibility of buying something you’re not entirely sure you even want. The outlets providing information and details about cars of all shapes and sizes are endless. So spend a few hours on the internet, or reading magazines, or even talking to owners of similar vehicles to see just what would be in store for a particular vehicle. This way, when you finally do walk onto the lot you can be direct, confident and prepared. This will help you get the car you want, and it will also help the salesperson know best how to help you.
DON’T OVERTHINK IT
While knowledge is most certainly power, it’s also quite easy to research yourself into a tizzy and start obsessing over every single detail and ranking, whether a car has won awards or if it’s been given a host of passing grades. Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t read reviews or look at what kind of overall track record a manufacturer has or that awards are worthless (even if a lot of awards are worthless). The point is that the overall quality of cars has only increased over the years and that there’s often not as much of gap in quality between brands these days. In its early days, Kia used to pride itself on simply being affordable while its build quality was less than ideal. Now, Kia vehicles are easily able to compete with almost any other major non-luxury brand on the market. So think about what you want and investigate, but don’t let it cripple your decision making.
THE DEALER ISN’T ALWAYS TRYING TO TRICK YOU
There’s a common thread of thought that claims “All car salesmen, be they hocking new cars or used ones, are only out for themselves and will do anything possible to sucker as much money as possible out of customers and are therefore not to be trusted.” While there are no doubt salespeople and dealers who do in fact make that their goal, it’s also blanketly not true. Not ever add-on or specialized warranty is a trick or a scam or a waste of money. Some of it is actually worthwhile! This is why it’s so important to be thorough in one’s research before ever stepping on the lot. Know what you want. Know what you can and can’t afford and be firm on that. Let the dealer know up front what your limits are and stick to your guns. But also keep an open mind and know that if a dealer truly is worth their salt (and a lot of them are) they’ll want to make sure you keep coming back to them in the future.
LET’S MAKE A TRADE
Trading in one’s car is a great option to have. It’s also not the only option. Dealers will almost always want your trade since it helps the used car side of their business which often nets them far more profit than selling new cars. There are often bonuses that often come with your new purchase if you trade in your old vehicle. But there’s also a lot of benefit to selling the car yourself before you ever set foot on the lot. Again, it kind of goes back to the research side of things but know which route will likely net you a better outcome and don’t be afraid to skip the trade altogether if selling it privately is the better option.